Spice of an (Un)Wonderful Life

by S. M. Hutchens

In a family newsletter a friend told me the sad news that his young son’s best friend had killed himself. This brought me to reflect on the terrible time when, at a similar age, the evil spirits that killed this boy had strongly sought entrance to my own consciousness. At that time, any number of churchly pronouncements on how much God loves each of his children, all of whom have infinite worth to him and who live in a wonderful plan that he has for their lives, were almost a mockery before the agonies of life and the beckoning void.

They certainly had no power to rescue me, for I as a young man heard all this as mere church-talk, especially when the word “love,” used, even in the churches, to mean “intense emotional attachment,” was part of it. But love, against which suicide is an offense, means little to the miserable unless it has become much stronger than this, its metaphysics and deep constructs taught in the Church and enfibered in the life of its children from early years.

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S. M. Hutchens is a senior editor and longtime writer for Touchstone.

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