Pray for Charlie…

Pray, first, because we are more alike than different. Given the money, fame, and access, which one of can say with certainty that we could have kept the powers of sin, struggle, and addiction away from our lives? Even without them we often fall so it is perhaps a grace that we don’t have more and thereby increase our risk.

Pray, again, because more than likely that wealth and access will be quickly gone and the fame will grow very shallow. There will be lawsuits by those who were deceived and damaged. There will be opportunities lost and expenses incurred. When the good times stop the good time friends may disappear, replaced by a kind of loneliness softened only by the discovery of those who were true and good all the time.

Pray, some more, because these wonderful drugs that keep people alive also rule the lives of those who take them. Life is measured by the dates and times and doses and everything must be done with great precision and little spontaneity Far away from the lights and the public persona there will always be a Charlie who knows that his life hangs by a pharmaceutical thread and even the lowest of viral loads doesn’t mean that this infection is gone, just hidden somewhere in a quiet spot where the current tests still can’t reach. This will be his life.

Pray, as well, because the potential of his life is still enormous. Sanity, health, and wholeness are often found through difficult circumstances and as long as there is life there is always hope. Truly, as St. Augustine is reputed to have said “There is no Saint without a past or a sinner without a future.”  God is not done with any one of us and neither is he done with Mr. Sheen.

Pray, finally, for ourselves. Seeing someone struggle and bear the consequences of that struggle should never elicit any thought or emotion in us save for humility in knowing that we, too, are capable of our own kinds of struggles, sins, and darkness. Yes, perhaps this was not our particular sin but we each have our own and in their own way they are deadly to us as well.

If he were here, I guess I would say only this to Charlie,  “God loves you more than you can possible imagine and His grace is greater than any darkness you or I may wrestle with in our lives. There is better for you if you want it and God’s door is always open.”

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