My inbox has been awash with fwds' and news articles about the midweek, unplanned burning of the man at Burning Man. Most people are asking things like 'what does it mean?'. I'll tell you what it means. Someone set him on fire. Now, if they had been flooded out, I would be more likely to assign some sort of significance to the event.
Another happening that - oddly enough - has garnered far less attention is what is believed to be the first suicide at Burning Man. On the morning of August 30th, a man hung himself in a two story tent - ending his life for whatever reason he felt he needed to. The tragedy doesn't end there. According to the SF Gate blog and other sources I've seen, the corpse hung there for over two hours in plain sight. Some people said they thought it was an art installation.
Let there be no misunderstanding - suicide is, in many ways, a selfish act. Yes, it's the selfish act of a sick person, but taking what they think to be the easy way out and leaving one's friends to clean up the emotional mess is not the act of a brave person.
This was not the plan of God for this soul. God's plan for him was life. Partnership. Significance. The sadness of a life wasted is almost overshadowed by the irony that in doing the ultimate 'look at me' act, he ends his own life, and still gets no real attention. He lives - and dies - unnoticed while the party goes on around him.
My prayer this morning is that the troubled souls of this world find their way into God's plan before succumbing to the darkness within us all.