Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Farewell Robin Williams

The news is buzzing once again about a life cut short. 

Yesterday, 63-year-old actor-comedian Robin Williams was found dead in his California home. In a public statement, the Marin County sheriff's office has says that it "suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia." 

They have begun an investigation to determine the official cause of death, but I am already saddened by the possibility...

For decades I've enjoyed the talent of Robin Williams.

I was introduced to him way back in 19 - shhhh... when he starred in the silly sitcom Mork and Mindy. I smile when I think of that crazy outer space greeting, "Nanoo, nanoo".

I also loved his movies - Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Good Will Hunting.

Robin Williams was a rare find - a comedian that could also handle his business in a dramatic role. Like the role of Sean Maguire, a Boston-based college professor in Good Will Hunting

I love this movie, especially the scene between Williams and screen-writer/director Matt Damon, who stars as the main character, Will Hunting. Will and the good professor are discussing Will's personal profile, including pictures of Will after brutal beatings by his foster parents. Will appears unaffected, even nonchalant as he shares the dramatic details of his troubled, abusive childhood.

After listening to Will's bravado for a while, the professor says these pivotal words: "Will, you see this, all this sh**?" He holds up the file for Will to see, then drops it on the desk. "It's not your fault." 

Will replies, "I know..." 

"No, you don't," Sean responds. "It's not your fault."

Will's getting agitated. "I know." 

Sean says again, "No. Listen to me son. It's not your fault." 

And this goes on a couple more times, until Will loses it, frustrated with this professor's probing antics. At the last "It's not your fault", Will pushes Sean, then falls apart. Through his sobs he yells, "Oh my God! I'm so sorry! I'm so sorry, Sean!"

I wonder how many children - especially those from abusive, negligent homes - need to be told these four words? "It's not your fault."

I wonder how many of us need to hear the same words about the sordid details of our own pasts?

Man, I love this scene. Love this movie.

And I loved Robin Williams. What a tragedy for him to die this way.

At times like this, we Christians like to share pat answers. 

Yet sometimes there are no answers that we humans can come up with to explain the worst case scenarios. 

Suicide. Babies dying before their first birthdays. Homelessness. Poverty. Never-ending wars.

Instead of pat answers, let's pray for others. Let's reach out and let our friends and family members know we're there. That we care. Let's continue to share the hope of eternal life with others, so one day we can share eternity with them... 

...Believing that one day "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain..."*

Believing in the love of a Savior who sees all and knows all. 

Even when we're at a loss for answers.

* Revelation 21:4

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