Beloved actor. Hilarious comedian. Passionate philanthropist. Kind neighbor. Devoted friend. Loving father. Dearest husband.
All of this has been said of Robin Williams in the past 24 hours after learning of his tragic death. Of all the adjectives mentioned above, suicidal would not have readily come to mind.
I did not know Robin Williams personally. I was blessed to see him live last year, when he proudly boasted of his oldest son's educational achievements. And where he candidly and hilariously spoke of his addiction. But there was not one word about his depression.
Celebrities' deaths are an interesting thing, because our reactions of sadness, anger, or profound grief do not stem from our interactions with them, but what they meant to us - which I argue could be just as profound.
Robin Williams meant a great deal to me. His movies and his candid interviews taught me so much about the human condition and of course, provided me laughs as well. But it was his dramatic roles and the serious parts of his interviews that I learned so much from him. For instance, after watching One Hour Photo, I spent a great deal of time reflecting on my own life, and came to realize the power behind the photographs that tell the story of my life.
But last night I was stunned, speechless and angry. Even throughout a great deal of today, I found myself numb. Why? Because I'm reminded that without Christ Jesus, there is no hope. As we learn more and more about his depression and his struggles, it's almost unbearable.
Depression, addiction, and the like are horrible conditions that affect the human soul, but Jesus Christ is the answer - and last night, part of my grief was due to the fact that Robin did not know that answer.
As the world and I process his death, I feel a stirring in my soul to proclaim the gospel all the more because while we go through life naively, there's a true enemy afoot. Demons and evil spirits do their work to harm the people of this world daily, relentlessly. But, I have the answer.
Wait, that sounds arrogant, doesn't it?
I mean, we, believers, the followers of the Way - Jesus the Christ, have the answer. And it's this answer that the world so desperately needs to hear. Not simply to avoid the pitfalls of depression and addiction - but to ensure one's soul is forever linked to Jesus for eternity (this is called salvation). Once salvation is secure, peace follows. Rest is constant.
You see, I lost my great aunt earlier this year to cancer, and yet when I heard the news, I did not cry uncontrollably, become angry, despondent, or experience heavy grief. I instead rejoiced in her life and rested (and this is the key) in the fact that her goodbye is only "see you later" because she was saved. She accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. So have I. So I'll see her again - and forever.
But for those that die without Christ Jesus, I will not see again. And this is why I truly mourn the death of Robin Williams.
Why do you think that those who die without Jesus will not be seen again, you may ask? Because you see, everyone has told a lie. (How many lies do you have to tell to be considered a liar?) Everyone has used the Lord name in vain (this is called blasphemy). I could go on, but I won't.
The bible tells us that we will all give an account to God and be judged by His standards - which are the 10 commandments. If you break one, you've broken them all. Within that list we are commanded not to lie and not to blaspheme God. We have all done both. Therefore by those standards set by God, who wouldn't be found guilty? And those that are guilty are thrown out of God's presence forever.
It's for this reason, which we believers refer to as the gospel, that God sent His only begotten Son Jesus to earth. When He was upon the cross at Calvary, He used the moment to become the substitutionary sacrifice for us all. And God judged Jesus guilty - because of our failures and actions (our sins).
The Good News is Jesus is greater than hell, death and the grave and was able to resurrect - and to tell us (those He died for) that we can now be considered innocent of all crimes against God's law because of Him and His sacrifice.
This is no small thing at all. And with this great opportunity comes the power of Jesus to work in our lives.
Things like depression, sickness, etc. can be eradicated in Jesus' name.
So if you, like Robin Williams, are suffering from depression, rebuke it in the name of Jesus and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. Seek help for this very serious brain condition and overcome it.
So, as I rejoice in my decision to follow Jesus, I worry that Robin did not make such a decision. But if he did, I'll see him again (and forever) and we can laugh again. If not, I'm sorry I'll never see him again. And there's nothing funny about that.
You are missed Robin. My thoughts and prayers are with his family that he left behind.
As for my family in Christ ... we have a lot of souls to reach - in Jesus' name.
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