The world mourns the loss of a truly gifted artist. Robin Williams was a brilliant actor. I loved almost everything role I saw him perform. One of my favorite characters that he played was a boy named Jack. He had a rare disease that accelerated his aging process by four times. Imagine a twelve-year-old boy who looks like a forty-year old Robin Williams! Bill Cosby played his tutor. Yes, it was funny and heartwarming and sad.
Funny and sad. That is a strange combination of words, but they seem to describe Robin Williams. Beneath all his humor there always seemed to be a little sadness. I have no idea about the reality of his daily life. All we know is that he took his own life. The ultimate sadness.
As I have been thinking about Robin these past two days I have also been thinking about the devo I wrote yesterday about Naomi in the book of Ruth. Naomi lost everything. Her husband died. Her two sons died. She was in financial ruin and starving. She believed that God had turned on her. She was so desperate that she called herself bitter.
I wonder if that is how Robin felt?
His death leaves us asking this question. How can a man who has achieved so much fame and wealth feel so badly that the only answer is to end his own life? I won’t pretend to know the answer to that question. I am not judging him. I am grieving the loss.
I am also raising an important awareness in all of us. Don’t let someone’s external humor and apparent happiness fool you. So many people feel like Naomi in our world today. So many people are on the brink of taking Robin’s path.
What we need is hope. That is what the story of Ruth is all about. There is hope in the midst of bitterness. Tomorrow we’ll look at this strange woman named Ruth who broke through Naomi’s bitterness.
For now, let’s remember Robin Williams. Don’t take anyone for granted today. Hug someone. Tell your loved ones that they are loved. Smile at a stranger. God works through these little gestures to bring hope.