Carol and I had been at the Niagara Falls for five minutes when the state trooper walked up and asked, "Sir, I don't understand a thing any these folks are saying, but you look like you speak English. Have you heard anything about a man jumping over the edge?"
I looked around. "It looks like most everyone here is from China, Japan or Korea. No, I haven't heard anything about someone jumping over."
"The rumor is that he, an oriental, jumped over about seven minutes ago. If you hear anything about it, I'd appreciate it if you'd find me and let me know. I'll be in the state trooper booth over there."
"Yes, sir. Will do."
An estimated 12 million people visit the Falls annually, and every year, about 40 people are killed going over the Falls -- most of them suicides. The horrendous water pressure mangles the person against the rocks below and sometimes the bodies are never found.
We walked to the railing that is supposed to keep people out of the Niagara River. Here is basic information about the Falls.
The water plunges onto the rocks and slowly erodes the cliff at the rate of less than a foot per year. The confluence from the Canadian Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls creates the large whirlpool below. The American Niagara plunges down a total of 167-188 feet (depending on the specific location), but the water hits the mound of boulders around 70-110 feet.
The river flows about 25 miles per hour with an average of 150,000 gallons going over the edge each second; but the highest recorded volume was about 700,000 gallons per second. Its speed is estimated to be 68 mph as it hits the jagged boulders with multiple tons of pressure.
On the light side: As I read other information about the five Great Lakes, the Niagara River, and the Falls, I leaned back and laughed. For an unknown number of centuries, the Laurentide Ice Sheet covered Canada and a portion of the Northern U.S. According to one theory, the last ice age ended about 18,000 years ago, and the ice sheet which gouged out the lakes began receding.
I read: "20,000 years ago, earth started to warm, and the Laurentide Ice Sheet began to disappear. By approximately 10,500 B.C., the Niagara Peninsula was free of the ice."
This is why I laughed. Man is accused of causing global warming, but man wasn't capable of generating substantial local heat until about 1500 B.C., and no substantial regional heat until the 1700s A.D. But the ice sheet began melting around 18,000 B.C.
If man wasn't the culprit 18,000 years ago, what caused the global warming back then? For that matter, what caused the earth to warm and freeze to generate the multiple theoretical ice ages? If the earth can cool and warm by itself, why blame man now? This is simple logic; don't respond until you think it through.
Back to Niagara Falls.
Carol and I spent the next four hours looking at the beauty and wondering about the power of nature on this spot on the map in northwest New York. Standing on the observation tower several hundred yards away or at the railing a few feet from the water's edge, the sight of the water plunging over the edge and the roar of the cascading water crashing on the rocks was almost mesmerizing. Is that what prompted the man to take the leap? Or was it sorrow, loneliness, or hurt that prompted him to end his life?
The Niagara Falls is called "The Honeymoon Capital of the World," so why do so many people end their lives here?
For the western mindset, the thought might be, I just can't take the pain any longer; I'll end it all. For the New Age or oriental religions, the mindset might be, This life hurts too much; perhaps it will be better next time.
But suicide doesn't solve any problems; it only creates more. Hebrews 9:27-28 says, "Just as everyone must die once and then be judged, so Christ was offered as a sacrifice one time to take away the sins of the people. And he will come a second time, not to offer himself for sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him."
Suicide will not help anyone but Jesus can. Turn to God and to friends for help, comfort, and direction because you are loved.
-- Gene Linzey is a speaker, author and mentor. Send comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit his website at www.genelinzey.com. The opinions expressed are those of the author.
Religion on 06/19/2019
Print Headline: Suicide doesn't help