An open letter to a concerned Christian.

This is a response to a kind Christian friend sending me a pm encouraging me to "put on the full armour of g-d".

Dear Joanie

Thank you for your kind message. Of course I remember you, our cell group was a gift to me at a time when my life was very hard - the xxx and the xxx were incredibly kind to me. 

I remember a Christian friend of mine once saying: "Christians don't go to psychiatric hospitals!" This one did. I see no reason why g-d cannot use psychiatric hospitals in the same way that he uses surgical hospitals and we are grateful and praise g-d for something as amazing as a birth or a heart transplant.

Your message reveals a tone that I was trying to address in my post: that my everyday reality is horrible enough to want to escape and that I have tried to do something about it, and that you feel that this position is "ung-dly" or unacceptable. I have not abandoned g-d. I don't think g-d has abandoned me. I search for g-d keenly. Perhaps our g-ds might differ somewhat, but I feel a judgement from you: that my spiritual position is lacking because I am not "wearing the armour of g-d" in the way that you see fit. Perhaps I am. Perhaps the armour that I do have is different to yours. I don't see suicide as "the enemy" - I think it is a viable option in psychiatry at times. I don't doubt that g-d understands everything about me, however, I don't doubt that g-d understands and accepts my reality as well.

A treasured Christian friend of mine committed suicide just over four years ago. She made an attempt that was unsuccessful and I went to visit her, gently asking if there was anything she had to live for. She was emphatic that her situation was too horrible to continue to live. I believed her and I gave her my blessing. She made a second attempt as soon as she was able to and was successful. I believe she is now in peace. I am grateful that she is no longer in such pain.

Although I no longer align myself with Christianity, I believe that the Christ was a great prophet and that his guidance on how to live in harmony with others was sound. I now align myself with Noahism and difficult as it might be at times, I enjoy temple and have tentatively re-entered a spiritual community. I feel like I am justifying my spiritual position here...

I also feel like your response, albeit kind, is a defence to the unspeakable nature of suicide - something that we hate to consider as it is so horrible when someone chooses to end their life at their own hand, rather than to die of natural causes. I think g-d will give me a get-out-of-jail-free-card on this one.

I ask you too, to allow me to own my reality. I ask you to feel what you feel without feeling a need to fix it - no matter how kind your intentions - and I do believe they are kind. I don't ask you to understand something that only someone in the position could feel, but I do ask you to accept it - or maybe not accept it, but agree to disagree. 

With loving-kindness, 


BTW - your mail has fuelled thought and I hope you will not mind me making this an open letter on my blog - I will not use your name.