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Cry Out To Jesus

I never knew Bob Owens. Given how my Kon­ser­v­a­tive Kool Kidz Klub appli­ca­tion was stamped Return To Sender years ago, this is no sur­prise. He was one of the early con­ser­v­a­tive new media types, first blog­ging and later devel­op­ing a more tra­di­tional media busi­ness model. He was quite the Sec­ond Amend­ment afi­cionado. Owens was a fam­ily man; wife, three kids. He was known and loved, per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally, by many within CNM, includ­ing sev­eral peo­ple I know as friends.

Ear­lier this week he left a cryp­tic note on Face­book about being a cow­ard and a failure.

He then blew his brains out.

An over­rid­ing theme in the reac­tions to Owens’ death is that no one, not even those clos­est to him, had the slight­est inkling this was a pos­si­bil­ity. There was noth­ing in his demeanor, noth­ing in his words and/​or actions, giv­ing any indi­ca­tion he was trou­bled unto death by his own hand. Owens’ sui­cide has been met with com­plete aston­ish­ment. The words from those who knew him have both poured out and fallen in shocked silence.

Being one who knows the dark side as some­thing utterly removed from George Lucas’ film fran­chise, I speak with uncom­fort­able author­ity about depres­sion. It is an irra­tional, illog­i­cal assas­sin; the father of lies’ most hideous, insid­i­ous lie. It blinds its vic­tims to real­ity, con­vinc­ing them there is no hope when in fact hope abounds. Depres­sion tells the irre­place­able all would fare bet­ter with­out their pres­ence spoil­ing life’s soup. It declares self-destruction’s broad road as the only road, doing its damnedest to block salvation’s nar­row path. Depres­sion is Satan’s scalpel, seek­ing only to cut out life itself instead of cut­ting out the can­cer it forms on the soul.

While there can be, at least in some cases in part, an under­stand­ing of why some­one would take their own life, sui­cide stands in direct oppo­si­tion to God’s will and Word. No one has the right to dis­miss God’s gift of life to us and/​or destroy the Holy Spirit’s tem­ple He made for us in His image. The for­give­ness made avail­able to each of us through Christ’s sub­sti­tu­tion­ary death on the cross is never a license to sin. While faith alone can­not always com­pletely coun­ter­act depression’s lies, it is a vital ele­ment in the fight. There are no echoes of throne checks or any other vari­a­tion on “are you really saved” in ask­ing some­one not just how they are, but how is their soul. This said, God alone truly knows the soul. He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and He will have com­pas­sion on whom He will have com­pas­sion. We are His voice and hands on this earth; we must act and speak accordingly.

John Donne was right; no man is an island and the death of one dimin­ishes us all. It should make us stop and take stock of pri­or­i­ties. Noth­ing exposes our online world’s triv­i­al­ity, the futil­ity of our pur­suit within our phone­booth king­doms echo cham­ber of hyper­link and hash­tag love as val­i­da­tion, like star­ing at a loved ones’ head­stone. Today, now, is the time to preach in word and deed Christ cru­ci­fied and risen to fam­ily, friends, and strangers alike.

I sym­pa­thize with Bob Owens’ friends. I grieve for his fam­ily. I pray God will have mercy on his soul. And I pray all the more the next Bob Owens among us will never be known as the next Bob Owens because some­one reached out, and the per­son reached cried out to Jesus for the strength to live.

https://youtu.be/JmVxRl5bc4Y

I never knew Bob Owens. Given how my Konservative Kool Kidz Klub application was stamped Return To Sender years ago, this is no surprise. He was one of the early conservative new media types, first blogging and later developing a more traditional media business model. He was quite the Second Amendment aficionado. Owens was a family man; wife, three kids. He was known and loved, personally and professionally, by many within CNM, including several people I know as friends.

Earlier this week he left a cryptic note on Facebook about being a coward and a failure.

He then blew his brains out.

An overriding theme in the reactions to Owens’ death is that no one, not even those closest to him, had the slightest inkling this was a possibility. There was nothing in his demeanor, nothing in his words and/or actions, giving any indication he was troubled unto death by his own hand. Owens’ suicide has been met with complete astonishment. The words from those who knew him have both poured out and fallen in shocked silence.

Being one who knows the dark side as something utterly removed from George Lucas’ film franchise, I speak with uncomfortable authority about depression. It is an irrational, illogical assassin; the father of lies’ most hideous, insidious lie. It blinds its victims to reality, convincing them there is no hope when in fact hope abounds. Depression tells the irreplaceable all would fare better without their presence spoiling life’s soup. It declares self-destruction’s broad road as the only road, doing its damnedest to block salvation’s narrow path. Depression is Satan’s scalpel, seeking only to cut out life itself instead of cutting out the cancer it forms on the soul.

While there can be, at least in some cases in part, an understanding of why someone would take their own life, suicide stands in direct opposition to God’s will and Word. No one has the right to dismiss God’s gift of life to us and/or destroy the Holy Spirit’s temple He made for us in His image. The forgiveness made available to each of us through Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross is never a license to sin. While faith alone cannot always completely counteract depression’s lies, it is a vital element in the fight. There are no echoes of throne checks or any other variation on “are you really saved” in asking someone not just how they are, but how is their soul. This said, God alone truly knows the soul. He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and He will have compassion on whom He will have compassion. We are His voice and hands on this earth; we must act and speak accordingly.

John Donne was right; no man is an island and the death of one diminishes us all. It should make us stop and take stock of priorities. Nothing exposes our online world’s triviality, the futility of our pursuit within our phonebooth kingdoms echo chamber of hyperlink and hashtag love as validation, like staring at a loved ones’ headstone. Today, now, is the time to preach in word and deed Christ crucified and risen to family, friends, and strangers alike.

I sympathize with Bob Owens’ friends. I grieve for his family. I pray God will have mercy on his soul. And I pray all the more the next Bob Owens among us will never be known as the next Bob Owens because someone reached out, and the person reached cried out to Jesus for the strength to live.