Last night I watched a documentary about the various reasons behind suicide. The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco has been the chosen site for countless launching pads into the next world, and the social commentary behind this video, along with graphic images, captures the hopelessness of so many who have come to the end.
There was one particular scene that caught me unprepared, and continues to stir my emotions… A young woman had climbed over the railing of the bridge, balancing herself on the beams while contemplating her jump into the raging waters below. A pedestrian happened to see the event unfolding, and ran to reach for her. He snatched her by the collar of her jacket and managed to pull her back over to the safe side. She fought violently against his insistence; she resisted his efforts to save her life. He held her down until help arrived.
And I found myself crying, as I watched the scene over and over and over again.
This is where I live.
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My strengths are also my weaknesses. My heart is steadily pounding to rescue and protect the vulnerable. I love people with such a ferocious abandonment, that it begins to take a toll. I see people jumping to their death, and I want to catch them and pull them back to safety. Is it possible that I care too much? I become overly involved in the rescue, and become intimately concerned for the liberation of the captives. My life is so intricately connected to the well-being of others, that somehow their story becomes my own.
The intensity of the rescue mission triggers something psychological in my brain. The euphoria of a thousand amens and a growing congregation can be like a drug, and the monday-morning crash is like hitting rock bottom. The roller-coaster of success and relapse can begin to create doubt in my heart, and the limp returns… now I find myself peering over the ledge.
I thought I was on a rescue mission.
Now I realize, I am the one in need of the rescue.