I wasn’t going to make a post about Robin Williams. I was going to leave it for the “experts” and those who knew him personally.
But last night we watched one of my favourite all-time movies, Dead Poets Society, and I need to say something.
When you first think of Robin Williams, we all think of him first as a comedian, remembering his off the wall, frenetic, hilarious appearances in interviews or on stage. Always with a laugh. We may remember his comedic roles like Mork.
But he had a great depth to him. Whatever role you saw him in, you believed him in that role. Whether it was an overgrown child in Jack, an alien in Mork & Mindy, or an innovative, inspiring teacher in Dead Poets Society. You could not help but feel a connection with him.
He had an acting breadth that few others will ever have. Slap-stick comedy to intense drama, nothing was out of his range. A few actors have tried to do what he has done, but none come to mind who have been able to make it look as seamless as Robin could.
But we also know he struggled with a vicious illness in depression.
As a pastor I talk with people who struggle with mental illness of some sort far more often than I would like. Not because I don’t want to help these people, but because there are so many who struggle. Depression and anxiety being at the top of the list.
I am in no way trained to deal with these situations. But I care about these people and I want them to get help. I listen. I encourage them to get help. I support them in their journey as best I can.
Because these people are loved. They are loved by their families and friends. They are loved by God. They are worthy of love and support. I just want them to know it.
I want to them to know they are important. They are loved. All while they are getting the help they need.
Robin was loved by millions of people around the world. And now the world mourns.
The disease convinced him there was an easy way out. That all the love didn’t matter.
It’s not true.
It’s not true for Robin, and it’s not true for anyone else.
We are all worthy. We are all loved. We all matter.
Let us walk together. Let us journey through whatever life throws at us in love and support.
It’s what God calls us to do.