On Super Bowl Sunday, news cam that shocked many, especially in Hollywood and New York City: Academy Award-winning actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman died in his apartment from a drug overdose. He was 46. Words such as “devastated” and “heartbroken” were frequently used to describe the feelings of those who knew him and worked with him.
The sadness increased as circumstances of his demise became publicly broadcast, and memories of his struggles with addiction emerged in close conversations. You see, those who were closest to him thought he had overcome the addiction to drugs in rehab and the many years he lived clean, sans drugs.
Actor Val Kilmer said, “…addiction comes from trying to escape the pain of living. We all struggle with this.”
The addictions disguised as escapes from pain and or emotional/social are many: alcohol, drugs—illegal and/or prescribed, extramarital affairs, pornography, relentless work schedules, uncontrolled shopping for goods and clothes that are already a-plenty in our possession, and video entertainment, etc., etc.
Hoffman’s words are important to read in the midst of this tragedy. He once told The New York Times, “I try to live in such a way that I don’t have profound regrets. That’s probably why I work too much. I don’t want to feel like I missed something important.”
How many people die while knowing they have missed something important, but didn’t know what it was? Such as a having unbreakable peace while the world seems to be shattering, or to have a source of strength that empowers victory over the pain of living.
Where can we find the power to conquer rage and/or fear and/or the feeling of gross inadequacy when there is no script-writer to pen a happy ending? That power is not in me to do that kind of bare-naked in the soul conquering. I am too weak and finite, like dust in the wind, to manufacture ultimate answers.
I only find peace and hope for an answer from God who loves me and who has promised to carry me through based on Jesus’ sacrifice for me to be forgiven, and on His Holy Spirit to guide, sustain and yes, even humor me in hard times.
The inner darkness and thoughts of loss don’t have to win our souls.
The Perfect Trio—God Almighty the Creator, His humble Son and our Savior Jesus, and His Holy Spirit who is life in this life calling us to life beyond this life—they have the answers. They have the promise. They have the win in the middle of our fear and loss.
They have me.
Can they have you, so that you can have them? That’s the promise. Forever. A little heaven here—for an eternity of peace.