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Suicide is one of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States, and suicides among young people have increased dramatically in recent years. In the face of such statistics, the fact remains that a God of love and mercy is very much at hand to deliver us from self-destructive thoughts and impulsions.

NEVER GIVE UP. It may seem as if you are in a black pit. I think I know a little about how alone you feel. But don't take your own life.

Read this article and pray sincerely. You will find a way to cope with your problems.

No one is really isolated, like an island. It may seem terribly late to tell you this, but we all need you. You have something to give to the world. Every flower has something to give to its garden. You may not see the good you have to give, but it's there.

You may also believe there isn't any God, or that He has deserted you. But actually God is our Father-Mother, who is right now caring for each of us; we should let Him. "I [God] have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee" is the way one writer tells us of God's love (Jer. 31:3). Because of His love, God is expressing good in you. In fact, He needs you to express Him forever.

If you will accept even a little of this thought, you will glimpse the good you now express. The warmest fire in any fireplace began with the flicker of just one flame.

The rest of us need you here to express your own unique individuality as God's idea and to respond to the good God manifests in us. We may not have done very well up to now expressing good to you. But whether we realize it or not, we all need you. And if you will let the light shine that God is expressing through you, it will help us love you.

You know it's always easier to smile at someone who smiles at you first. Our mutual love will dissolve fear and hate. And that love, as an expression of God, is life itself. "Love alone is Life," wrote Mary Baker Eddy (see "Christian Science Hymnal," No. 30). You may never have heard of her or of Christian Science, which she discovered, but if you will think of God as Life and Love, and of your life as being an expression of God's love, this can give you hope.

I'm sure you have thought about life after death. Most of us have. You probably think that it couldn't be any worse than what's here - maybe even like walking out of a thick fog into a clear, sunny day. Are you sure about that? Have you heard the popular saying "We are what we eat"? In a certain way, we are what we believe.

Death doesn't change in any fundamental way what we believe or experience. Only the eternal Christ, Truth, does that. The Christ tells us we are actually not desperate mortals but are the beloved and perfect children of God.

In reality, you are right now that child of God. Declare that fact. Accept it. It will start to clear your mind of fear, the way a fresh shower clears the air of dust. Then the difficulties in your life will begin to clear up, too. Truth works for me and for everyone who sincerely applies it.

Really you can't take your life - you can't, because God is your Life. But you can take a deeper, fresher look at what your expression of life can mean. If it isn't clear after you read this article once, read it again. And maybe again. Sometimes I've had to read and reread an article like this before I got its message. You can get the message in this one: God loves and needs you; we love and need you, and you need us; you need to stay right here and work things out. There is a way.

What profit is there in my

blood, when I go down to the

pit?... Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord, be thou

my helper. Thou hast turned for

me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth,

and girded me with gladness; to the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent.

O Lord my God, I will give

thanks unto thee for ever.

Psalms 30:9-12

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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