The Things that Break the Heart of God

Posted on by Malinda Collier

This reflection involves the topic of suicide.


Two weeks ago a note was in the church mailbox late on a Thursday afternoon. Steve apologized when he gave it to me, but he had to.


It was a suicide note. From someone I’ll call Angie who identifies as a 27-year-old trans woman.


I read it. I wept. I prayed. And I hoped.


I hoped Angie is not the young person I’ve seen in the last few months occasionally sleeping or reading in the garden. I hoped Angie is not the one who's bedding always lay against a mirror so if startled they could readily see if anyone was behind them. I hoped Angie is not the one who never returned my gaze - staring fixedly ahead. I hope Angie isn’t the same young person who for the first time on the Wendesday morning before we found the note had returned my “Good Morning,” with a “Good Morning.”  


I hope it isn’t Angie. 







It should. And more importantly it breaks God’s heart. As Rev. Dorothy White often reminded us, “Oh that our heart would break with the things that break the heart of God.” Angie’s pain breaks the heart of God.


No life goes unrecognized by God. God who I am beginning to regard as the “original they/them” (thank you Facebook) loves us all – no exceptions. To be so separated by our lived experience from this love is a tragedy. Angie, I grieve for you and pray this isn’t you. But Angie - whomever you are - I know that you are loved and held and treasured in the arms of God. I hope you come to know that, too.


Gender equity is some of what our Justice & Advocacy Team is working on, and you will be hearing more about in the late summer and fall. You will be invited into the discussion about how we can work and advocate to provide a different outcome for those who have found only rejection and pain, and feel so lost and separated from love and nurture that they decide to take their life. 


So, after we weep and pray let us get up and get loud – stand up against the hate that is so rampant in our world, the othering and the dehumanizing that damages and destroys lives.  While we may never know who Angie is – we know that their story is not unique. Transgender people experience discrimination, abuse, violence, and harm at rates far higher than other groups. 


Something brought this hurting human, this child of God to our door. Their note was found in our mailbox. I don’t think this was random. There are plenty of other churches on our street, but Angie’s note was placed in our door. Something must have made Angie believe we would hear them.  And we do. 


We are called to respect the dignity of every human being. We are called to practice and model God’s love in a world that mocks us for doing so. What the world needs now is love – that daring and transforming love which produces growth and change. Let us pick up the pieces of our broken hearts and be the love of God in a hurting world.


PS: I saw our young person last week, got another “Good Morning.” 


It’s a start - I hope. 




If you or anyone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call 988. Help is free and confidential, available 24 hours.


You can also contact NAMI: the National Alliance on Mental Health, M-F 10am – 10pm, 800-950-6264 or text Helpline to 62640.


Locally, Side by Side offers support for transgender youth and young adults,