Yesterday the world celebrated the birth of the new member of the Royal Family but I'm still reeling from the death of Cory Monteith.
This talented guy, a main character on the hit show Glee, was found dead in his hotel room last week from a heroin overdose. I'm a huge fan of the talent on Glee while not a huge fan of its moral premise. Something in my heart aches--and it hasn't gone away.
I feel grieved. Connected to him. It's not because I'm a rabid fan and have posters hanging in my office. Maybe it's my writer's mind. The idea of anyone passing away alone is heart-wrenching for me, even if they were high. It's not because I grieve the loss of talent, or the waste of a young life, or even the fact that Season 5 will go on without him.
It's because I grieve for the pain and struggle he bore. The upbringing that left him without the guidance he needed to avoid the demons of heroin. I grieve for the pain he probably felt, the guilt he had when he disappointed himself, the emptiness he tried to fill.
Most of all ... I am moved to tears because of his soul. Cory Monteith still exists--very much so. The questions plague me. Literally. Plague me. Did someone reach him? Did anyone tell him of Jesus, share with him God's sacrificial grace? Did he understand the walk of faith? Did he know he was in need of a Savior? Please don't argue that his lifestyle didn't show it, nor does the show on which he acted. There are varying levels of depth for every Believer. I'm sure if my life was spread on a tabloid you see it riddled with public sins. Be careful of casting stones. Yet in the scheme of things ... the odds aren't in his favor. And the whole argument that he lived a good life sort of goes down the tubes with the heroin overdose. So if you're one to argue the theme that we're all good and that justifies our way to Heaven...it fails here.
I am poignantly reminded that "for by grace are we saved, through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is a gift of God. Not of works lest anyone might boast". Was Cory saved by grace? Had he recognized his need for a Savior, maybe even in the last desperate moments alone? Or had the world who adored him ... ignored him?
Hollywood has got to be a sucky place to find Jesus. He's there, but who puts celebrities on their prayer list? Who targets them for prayer? Who sees them as needy people with personal pains, struggles, and tragedies? Eternity isn't something to mess with and yet, do we as followers of a grace giving Lord think these leaders of culture are beyond saving? So liberal that we're disgusted and turn our backs? Do we not see them as people but as characters on a TV show or in a movie? Are we outraged because they champion gay rights?
I learned something when I was kid. It was a valuable lesson that to this day, I hold dear to my heart. I watched a movie with Mickey Rooney in it. I fell in love with Mickey Rooney that day--in a Spiritual way. I asked my Dad if he was going to Heaven. My Dad replied he would if he knew Jesus and had submitted his life to Jesus as Lord and Savior. Even as a kid I knew this was a high calling. Mickey needed to meet Jesus. He didn't need his political views corrected first, he didn't need to set his life straight first, he didn't need the Bible slammed against his forehead first ... he just needed Jesus first. So at eight years old, I began to pray for Mickey Rooney. I've prayed for him quite often through my life. And Harrison Ford, and Mel Gibson, and Angelina Jolie ... and ... I never did pray for Cory Monteith. I grieve that opportunity lost.
In the end, Biblical principles are Truth. But grace isn't given once you've changed your heart. Grace is given as a heart is changed. We all fall short of the glory of God, yet the judgment celebrities fight so hard against is the dismissal we so easily give to them. I rarely agree with their moral stands, I believe God has laid out principles for us to follow for His glory. But they are souls--PEOPLE that God created. He can throw the stone, for He is without sin, not me.
I will pray ... for other famous sinners just like un-famous me, who sit in their hotel rooms on a dark night and fight the haunting temptation that will take their breath and bring them to stand before GOD. Will they know Him? Will HE know them?
Do you pray for celebrities? What famous person has God laid on your heart?