By the talk and the news and the radio and the internet yesterday, you’d a thought September 11th happened all over again. A sign of our entertainment driven culture, I’m sure. Financial ruin looming on the horizon of our country, political elections brewing… and most of us (me included) cared more about Ledger’s death yesterday. I really am a fan of Knight’s Tale as much as the next guy, and I am anticipating his turn as the Joker in the upcoming Batman flick, but what is it about his dying that stirs us up so much?
Someone yesterday just learning of his news looked totally shocked and immediately reacted with, “Did he finish filming Batman???!!!???” Do we care he’s gone because we’re gonna miss him on the screen? Do we care because he was such a contributor to our entertainment lives? Do we care because it was a shock? Do we care because we really feel Heath was a great guy worth caring about? Do we care because it touches some mortal nerve in us?
If these seemingly untouchable, immortals that we worship on the big screen can die too soon, maybe we can to. It happened to River Phoenix. It happened to Chris Farley. John Candy. Phil Hartman. John Belushi. Marilyn Monroe. Hendrix. Elvis.
Even fellow immortal, Mel Gibson was moved by Ledger’s passing. “”I had such great hope for him,” Mel Gibson, who played Ledger’s father in “The Patriot,” said in a statement. “He was just taking off and to lose his life at such a young age is a tragic loss.”
People remember where they were when Pearl Harbor was attacked if they were around then. They remember what they were doing when JFK was shot. Oklahoma City bombing. September 11th. Farley. Ledger.
I don’t know how I feel about all this. I’ll miss Heath and his films. But I don’t think that’s why I’m still thinking about his death a day later. It makes me think about how I’ll go. It makes me want to make today count if it’s my last.
Colossians 4:5 urges us to make the most of every opportunity – especially with those that don’t think like you do. Hebrews 11 gives some amazing people who’s lives we should follow that got that we are ‘aliens and strangers’ here on earth… and engaged not in an immortal life, but certainly one that is counting for eternity. What do you think?