So I sat at my usual table, drinking coffee and reading my Bible when God invited me to exhale the truth found within the black ink absorbed by the pages. An elderly lady named Theresa, I assume in her seventies, sat down next to me and asked if those who commit suicide go to hell? After the truth of her words passed by the daze in my frozen eyes, I realized this was not a hypothetical question. This was the bleeding of her heart. She explained that she and her husband have separated, and the loneliness that she is experiencing has caused a pain she doesn't believe she can bear. The insecurity, confusion and lack of purpose she is feeling are not relegated to the young. In fact, her age leaves her feeling that much more defeated. I answer her question by saying that it is not for us to decide who goes to hell and who does not. I then share with her that suicide is accusing God of making a mistake and that our pain is bigger than His healing love. As the words come out of my mouth I breathe a prayer that they fall on her with compassion and love. Her lips form a cracked smile and her eyes, though tired, tell me that she understands. She asks me to pray for her. She reaches out a shaking hand, I gently clutch it, and as I close my eyes I hear God whisper the word 'peace' into my heart, and so I speak that very word out loud. "God that this precious child of yours will know your peace, which goes beyond our understanding. May your love shatter the pain and cover her heart with your grace." She stands and informs me, although it is only 6:20am, it has already been a brutal day. She then smiles and says that it will now start over, because God has placed us together in prayer over her broken heart.
The truth of this moment has changed me, and I thank God that He chooses to use even me. "Thank you Father for your love and the truth that your peace is far bigger than our brokenness."