On stars, pop idols, and astronauts

Time to dig deep here. Bear with me.

Three names lately have really been impacting me. Lisa Nowak, Britney Spears, and Owen Wilson.

I’ve been finding myself so interested and engaged in their stories lately. I couldn’t put it all together until yesterday talking with a friend. The thing that these three have in common is that recently they reached their breaking point and it was all quite public. Being public gave me an opportunity to engage in their stories.

My heart was piqued by them because even though the media jumped on them and just ate up their falls I felt for them. Still do. And it’s for a couple of reasons.

One is that I realize that their breaking point is really not that far from where I can be. I’ve heard spiritual leaders say that we are all just one sin away from destruction. We’re capable of anything. And that, hopefully, keeps me humble. I could reach a breaking point and react the way these three did – snapping in a rage, desperate pleas for help, and giving up.

The second is that I know those root emotions they felt. I have felt betrayal. I’ve felt abandonment. I’ve felt isolation. I’ve felt hopelessness. I empathize. Thankfully my struggles aren’t as public as theirs. I couldn’t imagine trying to be real when the world demands so much and they are all watching just waiting for you to fall.

So if you are one of those who enjoys the ridicule of a ‘crazy astronaut’, ‘bald britney’, or ‘suicide owen’ then I’m not with you. I’m with them. Only because I get them. There is always more the deeper you go. No one is immune. And we are all vulnerable even if we don’t want to admit it.

And I know this not just because my theology tells me so, but because my story has told me so too.