The high-profile suicides this past week caused a 25 % spike in calls to the suicide hotline. Sadly, people can see no other way out of the emotional pain in their lives and decide to exit this world. The most surprising component is the people around them never had a clue their friend was on the edge of ending it all.
It’s time to take on what some counselors and psychologists call the other “F word:” FINE. As in, “How are you doing?” “I’m fine.” End of conversation. End of communication. Except, fine hardly qualifies as an authentic meeting of minds and hearts.

“Fine” can mean many things:
-I don’t have time to do more than say hello to you.
-You aren’t really interested in the details of my life, so I’ll play along and not reveal anything. -I don’t believe my life is interesting or important enough to give you more than a superficial response.
-I won’t risk our friendship by saying how I really feel.

The one thing that “fine” almost never means is “fine.” Fine is a conversational cover-up, a socially acceptable lie concerning things I have no intention of revealing in the context of a brief greetings. I once asked someone how they were and they said, “Fine.” I responded, “You mean Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional?” They laughed, “You hit it on the nail!” This can be true about most of us on any given day, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be public property. It would be inappropriate to pour out the deepest, darkest thoughts every time someone asked, “How are you doing?” In fact, if your goal is always to ride the elevator alone, this would be the first step to take!
However, it is healthy to open your heart to people close to you and be honest, “The last few days have been pretty rough, I’ve been struggling.” This might prompt a deeper conversation. The Christian friend should grab ahold of this and follow up with care. Maybe if we get the typical “Fine” from someone, ask a follow up question, “What’s going on in your life?” This leads to a deeper answer.

Does God send suicides to hell? I think the loving God who knows our inner struggles has compassion on those who are in a dark corner in this sinful world and are completely overwhelmed. Romans 8: 38 says neither death or life can separate us from the love of God.