Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Empty, Aimless, Alone
With the internet buzzing about the death/possible suicide of Heath Ledger, I wanted to take a few minutes to address a couple of things, much out of the norm compared to the type of posts that generally make their way onto here. Verified by the responses that past articles I wrote about SAW and The Golden Compass received, I've found that it’s easy to strike a chord with people when you intertwine the Gospel with events in pop culture.
Several weeks ago, I ran across the promo photos for the upcoming Batman movie. When I browsed the pictures out of curiosity, I took special notice to the Joker shots. I was intrigued at how evil he had been portrayed in this latest installment. Of course, I grew up watching the original Batman TV show with all of the “blam” and “boom” captions and cheesy spandex suits, but this made me take notice. The Joker then was surely mischievous, but, even as a child I never saw him as evil or frightening whatsoever.
Within days of seeing the pictures online, I saw a short clip of a scene involving the Joker, finding out then that it was Heath Ledger playing the role. I was kind of surprised to see him as a character such as this. Not for any good reason really, I just hadn’t pictured him to fit playing such a diabolical villain I guess. After seeing the headline of his death, I was reminded instantly of the pictures from the upcoming movie. As people all over the web post comments such as “How could this have happened?” and “He had it all, it can’t be a suicide!”, I submit to you that it’s quite likely he felt like he looked in this new movie. I'm of course not insinuating that he was evil and out to get everyone. Rather I’m simply pointing out that, beneath the surface, many, if not most people have something tearing away at them – a deep seeded vacuum. I’m amazed each and every time, when something like this happens to a young “star” in Hollywood, that the media and the public cry out, “How can this be? He had the money, the fame, a beautiful girlfriend and young child.” Are we really so naïve and ignorant? Do we still not see the reality of this mess that we call the earth? The world has been lulled to think that “reality” is the garbage on television that does nothing but promote the advancing of the flesh 24/7. The sad part is, it is becoming reality. I don’t want to get off on an entire new topic, but one hour of watching MTV recently absolutely blew my mind. I’m no prude or staunch fundamentalist, but my jaw was on the floor, literally amazed at what I was seeing!
Getting back to the topic at hand - likely, some “Christian” media outlets will embrace the idea that this happened to Ledger because of his Brokeback Mountain involvement or because he had a child out of wedlock or something along those lines (as if he “had it coming” or something ridiculous like that). Let’s look deeper though. Let’s assess our own lives and realize that the only reason, ultimately, that we have to live is to know our Creator. I’m reminded of the thief on the cross. This guy likely spent his whole life doing whatever he wanted, stealing and conniving his means from others. Despite it all, when his time was up and he knew that the end was upon him, he saw something in Jesus that could give him some sort of purpose and value. All that he had done led him to an end that he knew he was deserving of – as we all are. But Jesus, no respector of persons and One seeing the heart, validated his life, even at his death. Only here could he find his purpose via God’s grace and compassion.
We must expose the dark – we must look deep within ourselves and allow the Light of Jesus to illuminate every crack and crevice! And once we do this, we must assist in shining that Light into others. Darkness cannot remain when the true Light is present. To the believer, no longer can we, ourselves live, and permit those we love, to “keep on sinning” (live in rebellion). As the Word tells us, if we do, “we don’t know Him or understand who He is”. The world my friend does not understand who He is! Do I, do you? It’s imperative that we ourselves, those who claim to be Christians, followers of Jesus Christ, know who we are following! We must take the time to get to know Who we claim to follow – and we must start right now!
It’s likely that I’ll never rub shoulders with those placed on the worldly pedestal called celebrity. But this entire earth is filled with millions who don’t know who this Jesus is. How can I remain silent and hoard this gift that I’ve been given? This world is hurting, this world is dying, they are taking their own lives out of desperation and pain. But I submit to you that, worst of all, this world is living without hope, value and purpose. I know the only cure, I know the only antidote and His name is Jesus, the Light of the world.