Monday, November 2, 2009

A Suicide Contract

Kevin's colorful clothes and hair showed that he was feeling much better about himself. Kevin admitted what Sean had suspected. "You'll probably think I'm some kind of psycho," he'd said one day as they watched a school volleyball match, "but I was beginning to wonder if my life was worth living. Compared to how bad things were, dying didn't seem too bad." Sean assured Kevin that he was no "psycho." Sean had asked if Kevin would like to meet with Doug Shaw, the youth-group sponsor, to talk about his problems at home. Kevin agreed. Doug grabbed three Cokes out of the fridge and the three of them sat down to talk.

In response to Doug's non-threatening questions, Kevin talked about his parents' impending divorce, his loneliness, and his problems at school, mentioning that he had briefly entertained thoughts of ending his life. Sean was proud of his friend for being so transparent, even though he could see it was painful for Kevin to talk about. "I would like to make a simple contract with you, Kevin. I would like you to agree to call me immediately whenever the idea of suicide even crosses your mind. And I agree to respond to you immediately whenever you call and take time to talk with you. Will you make this contract with me?" Doug held out his hand for a handshake of agreement. "It means a lot that you would do that, Doug. I don't think I'll ever consider suicide again. But I promise to call you if I do." Then he gripped Doug's hand and shook it. Doug promised to pray for him every day for the next few weeks.

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