My daughter punked me today, and I believe the comedian that the world just lost would be proud.
But before we get to her stunt, I would like to say:
They don’t have one face. They don’t have the face of only the homeless man or woman living under the bridge.
They don’t have the face of only the man or woman living in an institution of white walls.
They don’t have the face of only the misfit teenager that everyone belittles.
Darkness has no barriers. It has no popularity barriers. It has no economic barriers. It has no gender barriers. It has no age barriers.
Darkness resides in this world in utterly devastating ways.
I remember clearly our church in all of its surprise and devastation when an utterly beautiful mom of a devoted husband and gorgeous children took her own life in her garage one day.
It will forever haunt me seeing my classmate walk after school to wrestling, only to wake up the following day to reports that he took his own life that very night of the last day that I watched him walk away, locking eyes and sharing a smile.
And I will, until the day I die, never forget the beautiful friend of my precious brother that ended his battle too young-watching someone grow before your eyes from kid to teenager to adult attending friends weddings. And then death. Too tragic. Too young.
Yes, darkness. Darkness my friends takes over. It takes over minds, hearts, thoughts. It takes over lives, marriages, jobs.
Darkness is very real in this world and you can’t buy your way into happiness.
How is it then that it can be battled because Christians and those that don’t believe in God both lose to this evil thing?
For that, I have no answer. Families that have lost their loved ones to such evil often cry out with the same questions. How is it that someone that is loved so much cannot think that they can pull themselves up and out of this battle and survive?
They can. And yet it must seem at the time when they lose the battle that they don’t see any light. Any tunnel. Any hope.
They are probably more tired than words.
And their mind battles demons that no one knows.
Often we are so envious of the beautiful lady—yet we don’t know why she tries so hard.
We are so envious of the perfect body—yet we don’t know why she works so hard.
We are so envious of the bank account of our neighbor’s—but we don’t know at what cost to his own family.
We are so envious of the funniest—but we don’t know why they laugh so much.
We are so envious of the smartest—but we don’t know why they know so much.
The majority of the times, it is a natural drive and self confidence that keeps people going and doing and being the way that they are.
But there are those times when those that we envy are who they are to hide what they are battling…
I often wonder if my son died if I would be overcome with darkness. A darkness too deep that I would not be able to recover. And I think that I wouldn’t. But I don’t know.
What do I know then? I do know that in all of the despair and the darkness that is battled, there is a light, Jesus Christ.
Will everyone that believes overcome darkness? Perhaps on this side of life, the answer is no. But there is an eternal light through Jesus that means on the other side of life, the answer is yes.
The thing is—Jesus does not want anyone before his or her time. And that, unfortunately, is what suicide is. It is leaving this darkness before your time. Leaving your family before your time. And leaving your work before your time. It is a finality to life that wasn’t yet meant to end.
It’s a silent subject and oh so sad.
It’s not discussed much in church. Suicide. It’s only delicately reported in the news. Suicide. And movies often make only the most extreme outcast the one most likely to commit it. Suicide.
But this darkness does not only attack those on the outskirts of what we label society (and, truly, who are we to label society’s outskirts)…It resides in the biggest of mansions or the smallest of homes.
And it must be discussed. Because it is a battle. A dark and dangerous and lonely battle that needs to be fought. For the person fighting it. For the family living it. And for the rest of the world that may enter into it.
But in any and all cases, those that lose their battle to this darkness need to also be remembered in their light.
For they, too, lived a life. And, Robin Williams, he lived a life that brought a lot of joy to millions around the world.
How we all wish we could have brought him the same joy.
But, alas, as still as time may seem for those closest to him mourning this devastating loss, the world turns. And now it’s the world’s turn to speak out and battle and fight for those like Robin Williams. Those that put on a happy face. A face that is the facade to the darkness that clouds the hidden mind.
I pray for you if you are in this battle. Find help. And realize that you can overcome. Bring your battle to light and allow God to be your northern star and those around you to be your mates. Your life is not done. Your time has not come. Your finality of death is not meant for now. God is not done with you yet!
Phillipians 1:6 (NLT) reads,
“He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the Day of Jesus”.
And, now, today, as Robin Williams brought laughter to the world, my daughter, very unaware of the death of Genie, brought great laughter to me as she punked my very being.
“Hey, Mom! I got your toothbrush ready for you!”
Now, normally, I would be a great skeptic. But my daughter has displayed tremendous amounts of great help in the past few weeks. Perhaps she has known that Mommy needed it in this foreign land of Poland as we have lived without Daddy nearby or running water every evening for over a month. Perhaps she knew I have needed her extra grace, as moving to a foreign country with 3 children and 2 of them 2 and under requires much more coffee and much more sunshine than a usual day.
Perhaps she did it this morning, got my toothbrush ready, because she knew I was up at the crack of dawn doing the MOST DISGUSTING THING EVER…giving 3 dogs flea baths.
Yes, I said and admitted it. Giving our dogs flea baths. Disgusting fleas. Disgusting dogs. Disgusting job.
And here I was, you will have to picture it because I will not offer cyberspace a photo of it…in my bathing suit (remember I only had a baby 7 months earlier ;)), and a shower cap, latex gloves, and my husband’s flip flops—because I was not about to go out in my cute shoes and ruin them…
Perhaps, yes, today of all days, as we prepared the kids to go to Polish and French lessons, perhaps today my daughter was just being kind.
And there in the bathroom were our toothbrushes. Her dad’s and mine. Laid out. On the counter. With toothpaste on them and even the tube of toothpaste lying haphazardly on the sink next to them.
Nothing, absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. Except the fact that she did prepare our toothbrushes.
But I trusted my daughter and said in my mind, “I shall appreciate this kind gesture…”
And I began to brush my teeth.
Bubbles upon bubbles upon bubbles sudsed out of my mouth as the taste of toothpaste was overtaken by the underlying taste of liquid white soap.
Yes…My daughter is so proud. She punked me. And it did make me laugh.
For in this world, in this short, short world in this speck of existence that we call life, we need all the laughter we can get…
Even if it comes with the taste of toothpaste.
RIP, Robin Williams. You will be missed.
News articles related to his death: