Mrs. Doubtfire, August Rush (I forgot about this one until turning the channel the other day and seeing him in this movie), Patch Adams, Goodwill Hunting and so many more--all starring the one and only Robin Williams. He's also been the voice of some of my fave animated characters as well. He has always had this profound way of sharing so much joy and laughter.
Mrs. Doubtfire is one of my fave movies! I could watch it over and over. Perhaps because it came out about the time my parents got divorced and in some ways helped me get through that time.
Reading the news of Mr. Williams death this afternoon is so very difficult. Yet also is a stark reminder of how very difficult it is to live with addiction or mental health issues. It saddens me that so many celebrities have fallen into the deepest darkness, yet we often don't see it! But the reality is that there is help out there. In fact, help is readily accessible.
I realize it is often hard for those who struggle with addiction etc to get help. Yet help is truly the hope in the midst of their darkness. Too often we see these individuals "in the shadows of our steeples" (This was a book I found in seminary but it captures the situation so well) and are afraid to help them. Yet I an reminded of the words we heard in yesterday's Gospel reading from the Revised Common Lectionary, "Do not be afraid!"
As many of you, my faithful readers, know I am the daughter of a woman who daily struggles with mental health issues. I have seen the ways she has suffered because of the stigma associated with the illness. But more than anything she is one of the most faith filled women that I know! She exudes joy in so many ways!
My mom has reminded me and continually reminds me that there is hope! Hope does come out of the pain and sadness. Light can and does emerge from the darkness! God walks with us when we are afraid! (Remember the "Footprints in the Sand")
Together we can cling to the promise of God's words when he says "Do not be afraid!" It is important for us to walk with and offer hope to those who are emerged in the darkness of addiction etc. So often we fear what the world has shown us yet the worlds view is not the reality of life. Many daily live with addiction and mental health issues because they have received the proper care.
So let us not be the first to jump to conclusions of what we have seen. Rather let us share our stories of hope and resurrection. Let us cling to Jesus' words "Do not be afraid!"