Much has been written this week about the death of Robin Williams. Sadly – and not surprisingly – not all of it kind or helpful or insightful. But much, especially among the community of faith, has been. If you struggle with depression and especially with suicide (or know someone who does), please see the links below for information, thoughts, and resources.
At the same time there are bigger things happening than the death of a single beloved comedian: the unrest in Ferguson, MO… the Ebola epidemic in Africa… the ongoing refugee crisis in Syria… you get the picture. Terrible things. Unimaginable things. Perhaps that is now and always the point.
The death of a single person is something we can grasp. And the unfolding story of depression, illness, addiction overlaps with many of our own experiences. Our tendency to identify with lovable stars and to think we know them deepens the personal sense of loss.
I hope this also reminds us that we make a difference – most of us – with other individuals. We don’t have the influence to change the course of cultures or history. We lack the stature to have the President or our Senator take our calls (not that we should not speak out and speak up however!).
People around us need our love and understanding. They need to connect with people of faith who demonstrate in real-time and real situations the love of Christ. It is not a coincidence that God’s great plans came to fruition in real people – Abraham and his crazy extended family, David and his flawed descendents, and ultimately in Jesus of Nazareth who lived in a particular place and at a particular time in human history.
Somewhere near you someone needs you. Somewhere near you may be the person you need. God works that way. And it works.