I was born and raised in Colorado Springs. When I’m flying somewhere and the person in the seat next to me asks where I’m from, I can usually anticipate the kind of response I’ll get. I’ve lived here for most of my life and I know what kind of reputation this city has. There are over 90 Christian non-profits located here. Some of the biggest names in the religious right live in the area. This city has long been known for being a morally conservative, Republican city full of Christians.
There was a shocking story in our local newspaper recently. According to a 2007 report by the National Association of County & City Health Officials, Colorado Springs has the 2nd highest suicide rate in the country. We’re second only after Las Vegas.
Does this bother anyone else like it does me?
We who claim to love Jesus Christ have obviously missed something. Something big. If we Christians are living the way Jesus intended for us to live, we are supposed to be known by our love. So somebody please expain to me why, in a city that is supposedly filled with people recognized by our “love,” so many of us are struggling with such pain, despair, hopelessness, and loneliness that the only way to end it is death?
We’ve gotten it wrong … this thing called life.
What if Colorado Springs was known for being a city where we love every person, regardless of their political affiliation, choice of occupation, race or sexual orientation? What if instead of making the news for our sickeningly high suicide rate, we made the news for our exceptional hospitality and warmth, environmental stewardship and charitable giving? Why can’t this city become a place I can proudly claim as my hometown instead of feeling like I have to apologize for it?