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The Warren family made their first television appearance since the upsetting suicide of son Matthew Warren
Two parents were thrown into a living nightmare as news of their son’s death headlined every major media outlet April 5, 2013.
Now, less than six months after the emotional and heartbreaking family tragedy, Rick and Kay Warren are speaking out about their journey, their grief and, ultimately, their God.
The Warrens appeared on an exclusive interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan Tuesday, Sept. 16, to discuss the life and death of their son, Matthew Warren.
Matthew Warren was only 27 years old when he took his own life. The suicide ended what had been a life defined by battles with mental health.
“The day that I had feared might happen one day, since he had been born, and the day that I had prayed would never happen, happened,” Rick Warren told Morgan in his first interview since Matthew Warren’s death.
Since being interviewed in what Morgan has called “the most inspiring interview I’ve ever done,” the megachurch pastor and his wife have willingly returned to the national spotlight, placing themselves at the center of public attention.
Few individuals could ever display the amount of bravery and resolve that the Warrens have recently shown. Rather than grieve in silence, the couple opted to expose their pain so that millions might learn the message of healing and hope.
When asked about their faith, the Warrens responded with steadfast confidence.
“I never questioned my faith in God,” Rick Warren said. “I know God is a good God. God isn’t to blame for my son’s death. My son took his own life. It was his choice.”
Kay Warren exhibited similar reassurance and contentment when confronted by Morgan.
“Matthew’s body was broken,” Kay Warren said. “That gun broke his body, and he was buried in brokenness. But he’s going to be raised in glory.”
What a beautiful picture of God’s all-surpassing peace. Though the Warrens could have reacted with any number of emotions, their only answer was to point back to the goodness of God.
It could not have been easy for the pair to describe in great detail the demons that their son battled. And it certainly could not have been easy to relive the excruciating moment of his death.
And yet, here stands a family, burdened beyond belief, glorifying Jesus Christ. What an incredible testimony to a world so often misguided by hypocritical faith.
In his first sermon since his son’s passing, Rick Warren voiced his anguish and his insights.
“We intend to spend the rest of our lives comforting others with the same comfort we have been given from God,” Rick Warren told the audience of Saddleback church. “Your deepest life message will come out of your deepest pain.”
Though heart-wrenching beyond what words can describe, the pain of the Warren family was not in vain. Matthew Warren’s life was not an accident, nor was his death a surprise to God.
God glorifies himself in mysterious ways. Despite the death of their child, he is still faithful.
As in Isaiah 61, the Warrens were given beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, and praise instead of despair.
Their obedience in drawing near to God in a time of crisis and confusion is inspiring. Through them, the world was given a glimpse of the Father’s steadfast love for his hurting children.
Though they may never understand the answer to the question why, God’s plan is perfect, his faithfulness unconditional and his presence sufficient.
As C.S. Lewis wrote in his book “The Problem of Pain,” the pleasures of life are easy to ignore, but pain insists on being attended to.
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world,” Lewis wrote.
Thank you, Rick and Kay Warren, for rousing us in our deafness and for strengthening us in our understanding that in all circumstances, God is enough. Thank you for allowing His power to be perfected in your weakness and for unashamedly displaying his all-sufficient grace.