Friday, February 7, 2014
Why My Heart Breaks For Hollywood
Sunday afternoon, the news broke me.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman died with a needle in his arm.
His interesting roles captivated many. So many in fact that I saw people in a simple state of shock that we had lost a true talent as I watched my facebook throughout the day. I can't say that I have a vast knowledge of all his roles, but the simple fact that I've seen many movies with him in it broke me just a little inside, once again, as another of our beloved celebrities lose their life.
Each and every time we lose a celebrity, I see people complain about the 'shock' that rings through the nation about one man or woman dying by their own actions many times, when people are dying every day by the thousands all around us. Yet, there is something inside of me that begs to plea difference. These people are just as stuck and lost as the rest of the hopeless. They are just doing it with more money.
My heart breaks for Hollywood. It really does. They have all the money and access to all the doctors and prescriptions and addictions they want. I can't ever bring myself to judge them for it. Addiction is a state of hopelessness. Fame is a state of hopelessness. And I don't envy any celebrity for what they have or endure by any means.
I totally get that we need to protect our families and ourselves from pouring garbage into our souls, so we make ourselves aware of what is going on with people to some degree so whatever infiltrates them doesn't get to us. I was blissfully unaware of this until last summer when my 7 year old daughter started singing "I want to see your peacock, cock, cock, cock" from backseat of our car on vacation. I quickly scrambled to update myself on finding pop music with more uplifting lyrics for my kids to listen to.
But the fact that Katy Perry (Katy Hudson) did some sort of witchcraft type performance at the Grammy's or that Justin Beiber just got arrested, when both were raised in Christian homes, does not shock me. It doesn't give me reason to blast them, to hate them, or to even shake my head.... with a tsk tsk tsk, they should know better.
It does give me reason, to cry, just a little for them.
Truth be told. I was one of the few people that owned a "Katy Hudson" cd in the early 2000's before anyone else even knew who she was.
And I can't help that think that no one going into 'stardom' has a great aspiration of becoming a drug addict, or getting caught with a hooker, or getting arrested, or losing their faith as they make their journey from being a 'no-one' to all their dreams coming true.
Suddenly, the talent that they have is noticed, and they have the promise of wealth. And which one of us can say that people noticing our talent would not feel promising...or finally being able to not have to live paycheck to paycheck doesn't sound like the perfect life?
Those of us who have families & spouses and different aspirations now that we are older and wiser, perhaps feel that we would know enough not to get sucked in to the fame game. But if we were 15, 16, 19, 20 years old, with nothing holding us back and the promise of everything we dreamed of was knocking at our doorstep, do we really think we would not jump at what seems to be "opportunity?"
This is why my heart breaks for Hollywood, Nashville, New York...whichever city represents whichever celebrity, because most of them have great aspirations to fill and instead wound up empty, sad, miserable, alone, addicted.. They have all the famous people around them, all the onlookers that admire or even idolize them and yet no one sees them for who they are, people hopeless, not just looking for another fix, but looking for peace of mind. Looking to find a way to numb the world they live in....
and I can't shake my head at them. None of us can cast a stone. And most of us have not been in their shoes. Most of us had not had the promise of everything we thought we wanted at the age of fifteen...but this somehow makes us lucky, doesn't it?
Because we find out much easier, much quicker that life can be fulfilled in the simple way it is, with our families and with our faith in God. We realize we can still be happy with making just a few thousand a month.
Before most celebrities are even adults or have experienced a great deal of 'normal' adult life like the rest of us do, they are in a world filled with wealth and drugs and women. What does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? They lose themselves and they lose hope. And to them, THAT is normal life.
We are truly blessed.
None of us are exempt from temptation to hide, even in our own small paycheck to paycheck world. People we know, maybe even ourselves have given over to a fix of some kind, just to numb the pain. Imagine just for a moment the humiliation and demands of the whole world watching you and you slip in and out of marriages, rehabs, bad movies to good movies, criticism, bad photos, articles, lies....
and you have access and have a way to hide. You have your guard up. You can act a little crazy and get the world to notice you, talk about how you need psychiatric help. Or you can smile for the camera, wow the world with your talent, and go to your room and stick a needle in your arm. Whichever it is, the temptation to hide behind something is great to us all, because we all are human.
The truth is, we shake our heads at a celebrity or even someone we know personally when they abuse their character or reputation, their bodies, their identity over and over again. We get tired or fed up with them not just changing, giving into temptation or addiction. And we give up on them. We talk about them. We get angry at them. We miss them. But do we pray? What would have happened if we prayed before we lost them? Do we ever empathize rather than shake our heads at them? No, this is not what they 'asked' for or what they dreamed of becoming...
On Sunday, I couldn't bring myself to say RIP Phillip Seymour Hoffman, like so many others do. For all I know, he isn't resting in peace, as comforting as it sounds to all of us. I simply don't know. That is between him and God. But what I did do was pray for his family, and the people that his life and death affected. That somehow, God could take this great tragedy in their lives and reach in their hearts so they would look up, to Him for rest.
And I let myself ponder that brokeness for Hollywood just a little and challenged myself to pray for people I love watching on the big screen. Pray for the voices & talent who grace our radio speakers. Pray for those who shock the world with their seemingly misbehavior.
Because something is lacking. It's not just brain cells...or that they are not a few bricks short of a house. We want to make jokes or look down on them or talk about how selfish they are.
But loneliness and feeling lost and hopeless is no more of joke for someone with money than someone with out.
They may just be a few prayers short of Jesus.
Instead of just admiring someone's talent, let's pray. And instead scoffing at someone's downfalls or lack of talent, let's pray...If you don't pray for them, do you ever wonder who will?