By Pastor Mark McAdow

Last Thursday, contemporary Christian artist, Mandisa Hundley, was found dead in her Nashville home at age 47. The Franklin County Police have ruled that there was no foul play involved. It was most likely a suicide.  

She became famous when she entered the American Idol competition in Season 5 of the show. In her initial “on stage” audition, one of the judges, Simon Cowell, made a very disparaging comment about her weight and the need for a bigger stage. It was a most hurtful comment that he later apologized for after Mandisa had publicly forgiven him. She was a true Christian woman.

She went on to receive a Grammy Award for her album Overcomer with the title song becoming a major hit. She had another upbeat, spunky early morning song called “Good Morning” with Toby Mac. I can hear the catchy tune in my head even now. She loved Jesus and loved to sing about Him.

The question in our heads is – if true, why suicide?

Mandisa had struggled years with depression which she shared openly about. Can Christians be depressed? Absolutely. All people can be depressed. Our world itself provides opportunities for depression and always has with wars, rumors of wars, famine, murder, child abuse, etc. We live in a truly fallen world. Circumstances in each of our lives can lead to chronic depression. Chemical imbalances in the brain can produce depression.

Is suicide the answer? Never. Jesus is the author of life. Jesus said, “The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”  Jesus came that we might have abundant life here and now and eternal life forever. That’s His life-giving plan for each of us!

What about suicide? Is it a sin? Yes. It is not God’s plan for His kids. Is it the unpardonable sin? No. I have experienced three suicides in my extended family.  So have some of you. You have lost a son or a daughter or a father or a mother or an aunt or an uncle or maybe a spouse.  Suicide is a gut-wrenching loss. Why? Because it is so unnecessary and always tragic. It is one decision a person makes that cannot be changed. It is permanent.

We have a compassionate Heavenly Father who understands each of us better than we understand ourselves. I don’t believe He judges our life based on one desperate act. According to Lamentations 3:22-23, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

If you or someone you love is suffering from chronic depression, be sure to get or offer help. You can call, day or night, The Mental Health Hotline at 988. We have good Christian counselors in Enid as well. You can always call me, too. Let’s care for one another as Christ cares for us! Pray for Mandisa’s family and all those you know impacted by suicide.

We sponsor a Suicide Loss Survivor’s Support group here on the first and third Monday evenings from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the parlor. It is facilitated by Kelly Webster, who lost his son Elijah to suicide over five years ago. We know and we understand.

Yours in Christ’s love,
Pastor Mark

Be sure to support our Willow View Women this weekend with their jewelry sale to support Women at Risk (W.A.R.) and the showing of The Sound of Freedom tomorrow night from 5:00- 9:00PM. I’ll see you this Sunday!

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