Today suicide is at epidemic perportions. People are giving up hope in the midst of their circumstances. There was a song back in the 60’s called “Ode to Billy Joe.” It was sung by Bobby Gentry and it had everyone bussing. It starts out like this, “ It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day, I was out choppin’ cotton, and my brother was balin’ hay, and at dinner time we stopped and walked back to the house to eat and mama hollered out the back door, y’all, remember to wipe your feet and then she said, I got some news this mornin’ from Choctaw Ridge today, Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge and papa said to mama, as he passed around the blackeyed peas.”
When this song came out, it was a rare thing to hear about someone committing suicide. Maybe today with the Social Media we hear about it more often. But the next verse of this song says it all. “Well, Billy Joe never had a lick of sense; pass the biscuits, please. There’s five more acres in the lower forty I’ve got to plow and mama said it was shame about Billy Joe, anyhow. Seems like nothin’ ever comes to no good up on Choctaw Ridge and now Billy Joe MacAllister’s jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge.”
You see this family sitting around the dinner table criticizing Billy Joe instead of talking about dreadfulness of suicide. The whole song is just a matter of fact, and there is no compassion given toward this awful tragedy. Today we can give a big thank you to Bobby Gentry for this song for opening our awareness to this tragic and painful thing called suicide. You see in the song the family did not know that their daughter who was sitting at the table was Billy Joe’s girlfriend and someone saw Billy Joe and her throwing something off the bridge. Some people thought it was a ring, others thought many other things, but the point was and still is, this broken relationship ended in tragedy. Suicide is a tragedy, no matter what the reason is. Suicide should never be taken lightly. Suicide is selfishness and ending one’s life never solves anything, for there is still those who are left behind that have to go on and suffer by it. Besides letting people around you know what your thoughts are, there is one who knows and sees and waits for you to turn to and that is God. Yes, things happen in life and there are things that happen that we have no control over, but we must always know that there is hope, Yes, there is hope and God wants you to grab hold of that and never let go. Even though you may not believe it, God loves you. Everyone goes through trials and tribulations, it is what causes us to become strong and to grow in our faith in God and if you hang on to that hope and faith, God will see you through. But if you do not even tell people what is going on inside of you, then they do not have the opportunity to help you. Today, you can turn your situation around. There are so many agencies out there to help you and I’m sure there are parents, or cousins or siblings or friends or even co-workers who care enough about you to lend you a helping hand. Give them that chance to throw you a life preserver and pull you out from the rushing waters, or pull you into a shelter to save you from the storm. There is a song by Casting Crowns called “Praise You In this Storm” and one of the verses says this,
“And I’ll praise You in this storm and I will lift my hands for You are who You are.
No matter where I am and every tear I’ve cried, You hold in Your hand.
You never left my side and though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm.”
Never give up hope and never think that you have no value. No one is better off dead, NO ONE! If you know someone or suspect someone is losing hope or going through a difficult time, reach out to them and let them know that they are not alone, that you will walk with them in their storm.