There’s an awful lot of noise on the Internet today about yesterday’s news.
You know: yesterday’s news. Killings in Syria. Riots in Missouri. Iraqi children dying because their parents profess faith in Jesus. Political battles. Broken marriages. Starving children. More rockets in Gaza. And then, it came. A “push notification” on my phone from a news outlet that Robin Williams was dead at the age of 63.
I blinked and read it again before going downstairs to our office to read the news to my husband and daughter. No one said anything. It was hard to believe. Surely not the Robin Williams. Not Mrs. Doubtfire, surely. Not the man who made us laugh until our sides hurt and reduced us to tears in Patch. It was almost like hearing a good friend was gone. And indeed a good friend was gone. The world lost a friend yesterday.
Celebrities are like that. We feel that we know them… but we don’t. Not really. It made me think of all the people I “know” from their books and blogs and TV shows and churches. We judge and talk and speculate and write. But we don’t really “know.” Not really.
Yesterday is over now, and I’m already tired of the navel-gazing about Mr. Williams’ death. All this talk of battles with depression from people who have never actually experienced it at that level will tell you it was a “choice” as if Robin went to the store to choose what he wanted for dinner. Where is the grace? I don’t think Robin was trying to be the poster child for depression—I think he was in a pit so deep that he could not see his way out. And when he finally gave up, the world lost a man who brought joy to millions by his transparency and desire to see us laugh with—and even at—him.
So thank you, Robin. Thank you for smiling when you felt like crying. Thank you for trying so hard. Thank you for making us laugh. I never knew you, but I, like millions of others, will miss your gentle smile and contagious laughter. My heart is breaking for your sweet wife.
As we get back to today’s news, we’ll remember the day Robin’s light went out. I will tuck this away in my heart as a reminder that people need Jesus. We live in a nation who elected our President because we needed “Hope and Change.” We all need it, don’t we? Hope that the war in Iraq will stop. Hope that people will see the unborn for the precious lives they are. Change of heart, change of direction… and yet … hope and change will never be found apart from Jesus.
Sounds a little silly I know, but I wish I could have told Robin how infinitely loved by his Creator he was. You see, until we see ourselves through the eyes of the one who loves us best, we never really know what love looks like. And we need to know. Every single one of us.