Silent Epidemic

The suicide of celebrity chef and TV travel host Anthony Bourdain, 61, hit a lot of people hard, especially people my age. Here was someone who seemed to have it all together. He lived a life people dream about, travelling the world visiting exotic places. And yet Bourdain was a recovering addict. Whatever despair he was experiencing didn’t come across to viewers. One middle-aged fan of Bourdain said, “His death is a reminder that we just don’t know what people are going through unless we ask them.”

For two years now, life expectancy in the US has been dropping. The reasons seem to be suicide, substance abuse, and despair. The risk of suicide among men ages 55-62 has increased 55% since the year 2000. One researcher called this “the silent epidemic,” an epidemic that is “under-researched and under-reported.”

When God created everything and pronounced it “good,” there was one aspect of creation that God said was “not good.” It was “not good” for the man to be alone. So, God created someone to keep the man company.

Many years later, Paul, the early Christian missionary, wrote that “we belong to each other.” God designed us to be connected to each other the way the parts of the human body are connected, with no part more important than another. This happens supernaturally through Jesus Christ.

This means that the church has something that nothing else has, and it’s what people today desperately need. We’re a community of four generations, joined together by the God who made us. God gave us the church to be the place where people who care about you know what you’re going through.

You can travel to exotic places, and you won’t find anything better than that.

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