I don’t see people fail and wish them the worst.
It makes me sad, especially when it’s at a level where they fail in a public manner.
My dad wasn’t a ghost in the community. He was an outspoken pastor who strongly believed in what he was doing. He wrote letters to the editor, spoke boldly from his pulpit and loved Jesus and his family.
As we got older it became a running joke:
My mom would ask, “Do you want to go to the store with your dad?”
We would roll our eyes and say, “No, because even though the store is 3 blocks away, and we only need a jug of milk, we’ll be there for four hours because we’ll run into fifty people dad knows.”
There are times where I’m sure I come across as rude at a Starbucks when I”m with my kids and I simply ignore everyone. I want my children to know they have my full attention but I can’t always.
“Dad, do you know everyone?” My second daughter asked me the other day.
Curses, it’s happening.
I’m becoming my dad.
Oh well, I tried.
He had his detractors too. People hated him.
It was surprising the vitriol I would experience just for being his son:
Teachers at school, “Oh that guy is your dad?”
Someone I worked with, “Oh you’re his son!”
Or my favorite, “That guy is your dad, really?”
Sheesh. “No you’re right, that’s not my dad, I made a mistake. After 17 years you’d think I’d know who my dad is.”
So…When he committed suicide, there was a massive outpouring of love to my mother and the rest of us. There were also a lot of people who had nothing but hateful things to say.
Those hateful words hurt worse than anyone can possibly imagine. Sitting in my hometown for an entire summer, trying to be a support to my mother – she needed us more than I will ever understand.
My dad ultimately failed and people say, “Ha, you’re dad’s a hypocrite. He said Jesus was the way and then he killed himself!”
And my response has always been the same. “My fathers first suicide attempt was when he was 18. Instead, Jesus saved him and used him to reach hundreds of people. For the next 43 years, he battled suicidal depression. Jesus was the only thing keeping dad alive.”
When I see people like a Matt Lauer fall, I am instantly saddened. I pray that Jesus, the only thing keeping me alive, will help me not to fail. I immediately acknowledge that I’m a sinner, saved only by Grace, and ask that God’s grace will keep me from transgression, and not any works of my own heart and mind.
The first thing I looked up when I read the news article about Matt Lauer was how many children he has and I prayed for them. That they, if they hadn’t already, would find Jesus and He would carry them through this, as He carried me when my earthly father failed.
Where else would I go?
John 6:68: Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
Pray without ceasing for those you see falling, the victims they take with them, and their families; this is the will of God.