At the Oscars, Graham Moore won an award, and in his acceptance speech he added this. ” I tried to commit suicide at age 16 and now I’m standing here. I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere. You do. Stay weird…” Graham Moore just did not fit into the jock or other status culture of his teen peers. Neither did I. I personally hated high school, and felt totally out of place. I was elected to some positions, so I am sure that many suffered rejection much more than I did. I wanted my children to fare better, so we read the Bible as a family, and tried to explain it in ways that encouraged them very much. I do not think I did that well at all.
So this is not an essay on how to keep children from feeling suicidal as Graham Moore did,or weird or different. I hope such people who can do that are out there, but if so, I do not have much affinity with them. This is a plea, however, to keep on praying for repentance and guidance, and that someone can be light and encouragement to them in Godly ways. My parents were very Godly people who loved me, but their Christianity seemed so far from anything I had to face as a teen, it appeared to be from another planet. I thought for sure that I would bridge that gap better when I was a parent, but I was wrong.
I see now I would have benefited (or think I would have benefitted) from having such books as Evidence That Demands A Verdict, My Utmost For His Highest, The Hidden Rift With God, etc. Even better, I think, would have been a youth group of Godly peers, who were stronger in their faith than I was. But where were such folks? I am sure some churches had them, but there were none at the churches I attended, and probably none if Graham Moore attended church.
My parents read the Bible to us and prayed with us, as we did with our children. I am certain that should have been done, since the Bible is the word of God, and God promises that his word will not return void, or empty. Even if we totally fail at applying the Bible to the lives of our teens or other children, because of reading the Bible reverently, the Holy Spirit does have something to build upon. It is his job to convict the world of sin, and to take the words he inspired through the Bible to make them live in the hearts and minds of the hearers. Our job as parents is to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God, and to repent when we do not. I did return to follow Jesus about a month before my father died. I was shaky and had to unlearn many things, but the prodigal did return.