Hi David, I just wanted to tell that I really like the painting in your post about Sarah and Nato. It reminds me of some of my favorite walks in the woods during my time as a survival instructor. It's why I fell in love with Maine. The title throws me a bit though, I never felt lonely. I felt more connected to God in those moments far out in the wilderness than I ever have. I really like it (the painting that is). I have been praying for you and, especially for Sarah, a lot lately.I have only ever known two people who took their own lives and I hadn't seen them in years before they did it. So, I can't relate to the struggle that you and your church face. However, I know a Chaplin who gave a weekend safety brief that focused on suicide. He followed the pre-written curriculum issued by the military and left for a long holiday weekend. He received a call that weekend to respond to a service member who had left that brief and went home, got his wife and drove them both off a cliff. The Chaplin took it hard because he felt like he gave the kid the idea during his brief. During his long struggle to deal with that he came to a lot of conclusions about dealing with people who are hurting (whether they are suicidal or not). He threw the issued curriculum in the trash and reflected on the experience. In the end, his conclusions turned out to be very similar to your list of ideas on the subject and his new class on suicide prevention changed the way the military thinks about dealing with these issues (mine as well). My point is, that I feel you have really hit the nail on the head and, I hope you don't mind, but I copied them and I will be using them in the future. My prayer is that Sarah will continue on her journey leaning on Jesus and held up by you and your church and ultimately finding peace. Stick with those ideas. It will save someones life someday. God bless, Chris
The painting is a creation of my friend, Tina Newlove's called "Anger Grief Rage".