Wisdom dictates that good advice is best derived from those with real-life experience, above mere theoreticians. And that is one of the reasons I was excited to read Bruce Ray’s slender gem: “HELP! My Friend is Suicidal.” Help it is indeed.
In what can be easily read in one brief sitting, Bruce Ray offers the practical, clear, concise and Biblical counsel that can only come from one who has grappled with this tragedy firsthand. Repeatedly. So it is as both a career law enforcement officer, and as a seasoned pastor, Bruce unpacks one of the most emotionally charged issues many of us face today in the most helpful manner possible.
With the rare combination of palpable compassion coupled with unsparing honesty, you cannot help but read this resource and come away feeling surprisingly well equipped to face the situation none of us ever wants to face, and far too many must. You may be (as I was) surprised to learn that roughly 4 people in every hour of every take their own lives in the United States – 36,000 per year. With such numbers, the odds are you or someone you know has been touched personally by this unspeakably painful reality.
While dismantling many common an unhelpful myths like: “Suicide is always caused by depression” (Ray in fact cites at least 4 other prominent factors); or “People who talk about suicide won’t really do it – they just want attention”; or “Once suicidal, always suicidal”, the author goes on to address “Who is at Risk and Why?”; How the Bible treats the subject of suicide; and powerfully – in chapter 3 how to meaningfully engage and help your suicidal friend.
This little book is a no-nonsense treasure. It is both full of its own solid and practical direction, as well as pointing the reader to a host of well chosen additional resources. Gospel centered and Biblically sound, it is a must read for everyone involved in ministry, and anyone who is simply wanting to be of genuine assistance to a friend who may have attempted, or you fear might be contemplating taking their own life.
Buy it, read it, refer to it, and recommend it to others.