There’s another saying on the wall of my kitchen; this one simply is “Laugh uncontrollably.” How long has it been since you laughed like this? One man that could elicit uncontrollable laughter is sadly no longer with us. It’s been five years and six months to the day since Robin Williams left us. Today I offer to you the Catch I wrote and the video I made the day after his death. Reading it again, it captured me, and I thought I would share it with you. We forget too fast. There are things he taught us that with his films and recordings, he is still teaching. I offer this reminder because the one thing he did so well is something we all need to do better.
Today, the world mourns the death of its funniest man, who, in the end, couldn’t find that last laugh that might have prevented him from taking his own life. He assumed so many personalities except the one he needed the most — himself. He was uncomfortable in his own shoes, so he got used to everyone else’s, and for that reason, he had a huge amount of compassion for people from all walks of life, in all situations. No one could stand in someone else’s shoes better than Robin Williams.
We have a sign in our kitchen that reads, among other short pieces of advice like “Forgive quickly” — “Never regret anything that made you smile.” I’m going to shorten that to just, “Never regret anything. Period.”
With the country split in half and everyone getting meaner, what an opportunity for grace turned outward! We are offering the anti-thesis to everything brewing in society. Wherever you are, from the mail room to the executive offices, you are in a position to make a difference. Whenever you engage with anybody, from neighbors to clerks, to delivery drivers, you have an opportunity to stand out simply because of what has happened to you.
Rene Descartes: “I think, therefore I am.”
I ran into Chandler the other day at the Koffee Klatch — the local coffee hangout in town where I often go to write. Only this wasn’t our Chandler; it was another Chandler; actually the only other Chandler I’ve met since we named our son 20 years ago. I’ve always been surprised at that. Being that Chandler was one of the “friends” of the very popular TV show by the same name, I thought there would be a rash of Chandlers. But that hasn’t been the case.
This Chandler is a college student at Biola University headed for graduate work at Loyola Marymount University. Meeting this Chandler was like uncovering a time capsule.
“I am the bearer of a message packed full of love for people I am afraid to be around.” – John Fischer
I chanced upon this sentence of mine reading a review of my latest book, Confessions of a Caffeinated Christian: Wide Awake and Not Alone. As a published writer, I am well aware of stumbling onto something I have written that shows me I had a hold of something beyond my ability to fully grasp — something that can hit me years later right between the eyes. “Did I say that?”
We’ve been forgiven, so we forgive.
We’ve been loved, so we love.
We’ve been freely accepted, so we accept others freely.
We’ve been given mercy, so we are merciful.
We have escaped judgment, so we do not judge.
We’ve been welcomed in, so we welcome all.
The door was opened for us, so we left it open to others.
We are different people from what we were;
We are Grace Turned Outward.
Except that we don’t always forgive; we don’t always love; we don’t always accept others freely; we aren’t always merciful; we often judge; we are not always welcoming; and we sometimes close the door behind us because we don’t want to let just anybody in. What I have created in this list is the ideal — the perfect. We can’t pull off any of this on our own without the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that changes our hearts and overcomes in us, the tendency we have in ourselves to manifest the opposite of these attitudes.
We’ve been talking a lot about MemberPartners lately. That’s because our MemberPartners are the key to the Catch Ministry. They are the ones who believe in our vision — Introducing the Gospel of Welcome — Grace Turned Outward — to Everyone, Everywhere — and are committed to making it happen by any way and any means. They believe it can be done. They are not afraid to think big, to be imaginative, and to take risks.
This is it. We are down to our last day for Mike’s $500 Match. Thanks to David and Robert who increased their amounts yesterday, we are now only $165 away from monthly pledges that will guarantee the Catch an increase of $1,000 a month sustainable income. Help take us over the top today. Join these MemberPartners who have joined up or increased their monthly commitment. A little bit goes a long way here!
See below for how to finish this!
Golgatha today. Can you find the cross in this picture?
You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:13-14
I want to thank Drew for his comments about my coverage of Kobe Bryant’s passing. He was wishing my Catch yesterday had gotten the social media coverage that a certain reporter from the Washington Post received for her tweet reminding the world about Kobe’s rape allegation charges in 2003 involving a hotel worker in Denver. Though charges were never filed and the alleged victim settled out of court, it was certainly a black mark on Kobe’s record and came very close to costing him his marriage. Yet his strong commitment to the community and obvious love for his wife and daughters have overshadowed that dark time in his life.