we are the same.

I'm reminded again today why I don't watch the news.  Why I separate myself as much as possible from all the hurt and pain in the world.  Because even with my greatest effort, it's still an impossible feat.  And it's not that I think I can fully escape it, or want to for that matter, I just know that if I absorb myself in it too much, the pain is just too much to bear.  The hurt and grief in our world is something that no one can fully take on.  A healthy boundary is necessary for us all to survive and thrive. 

I'm reminded, with the death of Robin Williams, that I take in the pain around me.  It fills me up quickly and reminds me very loudly, how sacred life is.  How the world lies to us and teaches us that WE are the answer, how if we just love ourselves enough, that we can overcome.

That's all a lie.  The answer, speaking from experience, comes from outside of ourselves.  We need to reach out and up, not in.  We do not hold enough strength to pull ourselves from the pit.  We were created for the Father and in His perfect love for us, the answer to wholeness lies.

I'm also reminded this morning, how dangerous it is to put people in a special category, based solely on their job description, their status, their money or fame.  Robin Williams was a human just like us.  I can't help but wonder what special burden was put on him because of his life role.  What kind of special isolation was birthed from the calling of his life?  I can't help but think about how we subject those around us to the same isolation based on what we see on the outside.  "She is beautiful", "Her life is perfect", "Her husband is wonderful", "Her children do so well in school", "Her job is amazing"....all seemingly harmless, good statements.  But how often do we take the time to peek behind the curtain to see what's really there?

How often will we put ourselves in the uncomfortable position to say "What's really going on here?"  When is the last time you asked someone "How are you REALLY doing?" and then just listened?

Did Robin have someone like that?  Did the kid down the street?  Did the cousin or the friend or the successful business man that you knew?

Because no matter how funny or beautiful or successful or amazing you are, you aren't above the need of love.  You aren't beyond the boundary of needing someone to really hear you.  You can't "out status" the need for community, for understanding or to feel apart.   No one can be raised above the need of pure love. 

So today I challenge us all, reach outside of ourselves.  If you need someone to listen to you, start looking and don't stop until you find that person.  If that's not you, be the person willing to peek behind the curtain.  Don't stop when someone says "fine" to the "how are you?" question, but be willing to say "are you sure?" and be ready and willing to listen.

Turn your grief into action.  You never know the full impact we can have on those around us, be willing to be a vessel that never sees the fruit of its' dispensing.  Don't let the selfish desire to "see the fruit of our work" stop us from doing work we will never see the fruit of directly. 

Be willing to let go of ourselves long enough to grab onto someone else. 

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