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Fettered in Darkness: Suicide and Prayer

Kimberly Jaléh | Apr 3, 2015

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

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Kimberly Jaléh | Apr 3, 2015

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

Those who sow hatred and pain in this world plant the seeds of despair. They root themselves in our vulnerable young hearts and become insidious weeds, blocking the sun from shining on the seeds of love planted by God in the garden of our souls.

Deppressed-young-manParents, siblings, peers, acquaintances, or maybe even a mob—they can all wound us with the same intention of inflicting damage, sometimes physical, most often verbal. The purpose: to diminish worth in another human being. There is no describing the pain of feeling worthless, unwanted, and unloved other than to say it leads to despair, which produces a feeling of hopelessness so intense that one longs to escape, to soar free, even if it costs everything.

Some do through suicide. Others come close.

Although teenagers often suffer most, no one has total immunity. When fettered to despair, it is very difficult to feel or hear anything else.

My body wracked with pain; my nerve endings so hypersensitive and over-reactive I could not tolerate light, noise, or touch; my mind fighting ghosts of the past; and my heart so filled with nasty weeds I yearned to die, planned for it, and would beg God to allow my death. In those deepest darkest moments, a scattering angel would come–in the shape of a short note, a card, or a phone call from a friend, and my spouse saying over and over again, “you are needed, you are loved.”

Those reminders that suicide was not the answer stopped me from jumping over the edge and helped me unplug my ears so I could listen.

From the exalted source, and out of the essence of His favor and bounty He hath entrusted every created thing with a sign of His knowledge, so that none of His creatures may be deprived of its share in expressing, each according to its capacity and rank, this knowledge. This sign is the mirror of His beauty in the world of creation. The greater the effort exerted for the refinement of this sublime and noble mirror, the more faithfully will it be made to reflect the glory of the names and attributes of God, and reveal the wonders of His signs and knowledge. Every created thing will be enabled (so great is this reflecting power) to reveal the potentialities of its pre-ordained station, will recognize its capacity and limitations, and will testify to the truth that “He, verily, is God; there is none other God besides Him.” – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 261.

God has created man lofty and noble, made him a dominant factor in creation. He has specialized man with supreme bestowals, conferred upon him mind, perception, memory, abstraction and the powers of the senses. These gifts of God to man were intended to make him the manifestation of divine virtues, a radiant light in the world of creation, a source of life and the agency of constructiveness in the infinite fields of existence… – Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 352.

During times of despair, I desperately needed prayer. Often, I found it difficult to pray for myself or even to ask others to pray for me, but I know they did because of those scattering angels:

Intone, O My servant, the verses of God that have been received by thee, as intoned by them who have drawn nigh unto Him, that the sweetness of thy melody may kindle thine own soul, and attract the hearts of all men. Whoso reciteth, in the privacy of his chamber, the verses revealed by God, the scattering angels of the Almighty shall scatter abroad the fragrance of the words uttered by his mouth, and shall cause the heart of every righteous man to throb. Though he may, at first, remain unaware of its effect, yet the virtue of the grace vouchsafed unto him must needs sooner or later exercise its influence upon his soul. Thus have the mysteries of the Revelation of God been decreed by virtue of the Will of Him Who is the Source of power and wisdom. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 295.

I beseech each and every one of you who knows someone in deep pain to pray for them–to ask God to help remove the veil that blinds them to their true worth, and to assist them in knowing they are essential, precious, and loved. These prayers attract our spirits and help us cling “to the hem of the Robe of God, and take… firm hold on His Cord, a Cord which none can sever.” – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 307.

Despair does not last, it ebbs and flows. When you’re immersed in the darksome prison of despair, it is difficult to trust in any relief from pain and sorrow. But if you hold on and choose life until release comes with the healing and help of prayer, you’ll be rewarded by knowing that laughter is sweeter, happiness an elixir and joy the light of love:

O my Lord, they thirsted, Thou didst lift to their parched lips the waters of reunion. O Tender One, Bestowing One, Thou didst calm their pain with the balm of Thy bounty and grace, and didst heal their ailments with the sovereign medicine of Thy compassion. O Lord, make firm their feet on Thy straight path, make wide for them the needle’s eye, and cause them, dressed in royal robes, to walk in glory for ever and ever. – Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i Prayers, p. 166.

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Comments

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  • David Sirmons
    Mar 15, 2019
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    As a Baha'i, I still don't see a single thing in these quoted verses of comfort on any level whatsoever.
  • Apr 4, 2015
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    Glad to see that this subject is being shared and discussed. Hope people in despair will find a source of relief.
  • Apr 4, 2015
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    Been there....had it not been for The Baha'i Faith I would have committed suicide....
  • Apr 4, 2015
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    Thank you. This beautifully expressed what this despair can feel like and how vital is the role of others in supporting and praying for anyone who is so afflicted.
  • Apr 3, 2015
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    Thank you for this aid, your article above,which so tenderly expresses the horrible pain of despair that a soul can feel in this life.
  • Apr 3, 2015
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    O my Lord, they thirsted, Thou didst lift to their parched lips the waters of reunion. O Tender One, Bestowing One, Thou didst calm their pain with the balm of Thy bounty and grace, and didst heal their ailments with the sovereign medicine of Thy compassion. O Lord, make firm their feet on Thy straight path, make wide for them the needle’s eye, and cause them, dressed in royal robes, to walk in glory for ever and ever. - Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i Prayers, p. 166.
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