This letter was written by a very good pastor friend of mine. It is reprinted here with permission.
My stepmother called Thursday evening from Illinois to see if all of California had fallen into the ocean or if just part of it had, and in the ensuing conversation we talked a little about Haiti. Neither of us could really wrap our minds around 200,000 people losing their lives in such a short time and concentrated space. That is about equal to the combined population of Palo Alto and Sunnyvale. The number is staggering, and yet because it is so large it is almost unreal. Still, every one of those numbers represents a human life.
Equally shocking to us, if not more shocking (perhaps because it seems senselessness to us), are the deaths of single individuals who are young, have their lives in front of them, yet for reasons we seldom understand decide to commit suicide. All of us who live in the Palo Alto area are very familiar with that, because of the so called “cluster” suicides that occurred in Palo Alto in 2009.
We could not have stopped the earthquake in Haiti, but could we have stopped even one of those young people from stepping in front of a moving train? What causes a teenager to contemplate suicide and even act on those thoughts? Is there something Christians can do or should do?
There are no easy answers to these hard questions, but there are answers, and many of them are presented in a first rate movie that debuts today. It is called “To Save A Life,” and it was written and produced by a former youth minister. We had a preview of it a few months ago at PACC, and it is well made, well acted, and challenging. The movie doesn’t gloss over the difficulties of what it means to be a teenager today, whether one is popular or “different.” It deals with many issues, including teen pregnancy, parent/child problems, peer pressure, and of course suicide.
You can find out where the movie is showing in your area by going to this link: <http://www.tosavealifemovie.com> and clicking on the “Tickets and Theaters” icon, then searching by zip code.
The movie is worth seeing, both because it might help you deal with a tough situation down the road and because it helps lift up God in a good way. This is not a Christian movie, although Christianity is clearly a winner, and it is definitely not for the younger kids. The rating is PG-13, and that is appropriate. But teenagers should see it, parents of teenagers should see it, and anyone who works in a church (especially with teenagers) should see it.
Pray for Haiti, but pray also for the teenagers in your church, in your town, in your life. Turns out being a teen can be a lot of fun, but it can also be hazardous to your health.
Under the mercy,