Robin Williams and Knowing Where You’re Going When You’re Dead

Tragedy has, apparently, befallen us all. I must admit I had no idea that so many other people held Robin Williams as similarly close to their heart as I did. I could not honestly tell you the number of times I watched Mrs. Doutfire, Jumanji, and Hook in my lifetime. They all spoke to the silliness and care for others I feel inside myself. Similar but more mature inspiration  found me as an adult in movies like Good Will Hunting, Dead Poet’s Society, and World’s Greatest Dad. These were my favorites, and I’m sure you have your own.

As so many people have stated, he was a lovely man who sought only the best for others. On multiple occasions he visited people in the hospital dressed as a nurse speaking semi-foreign languages to cheer them up. His daughter Zelda seems to have best captured what this loss means,

“Dad was, is and always will be one of the kindest, most generous, gentlest souls I’ve ever known, and while there are few things I know for certain right now, one of them is that not just my world, but the entire world is forever a little darker, less colorful and less full of laughter in his absence. We’ll just have to work twice as hard to fill it back up again.”

In spite of the tragedy of a lost brother, friend, father, and inspiration; some people find it in their own best interest to question and criticize those who believe that Robin has now found peace or has been “freed.” Some going as far to imply that his soul might possibly be headed the opposite direction of heavenly bliss (leave it to the religiously superior to dump on the beautiful words of our broken hearts).

I believe that not only is this assholicly inconsiderate, but scripturally false.

In Matthew 25 Jesus tells a parable about sheep and goats. The sheep are brought to his right hand to experience eternal glory and the goats are sent packing. I believe that we cannot judge whether or not someone is a goat, but we certainly can tell who the sheep are. Let me explain.

In Matthew 7 Jesus makes it clear that we will know true prophets by their good fruit, what does that good fruit look like? I believe it looks like the sheep in Matthew 25. People that did something for the “least of these.” Does this mean we are limited to feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and caring for the sick and lonely? Of course not! Jesus also shows his servant heart when he washes the disciples’ feet in John 13.

The heart of a servant is set as an example, and what is the goal of the servant’s heart? Jesus tells us in John 10 that it is so that we might spread joy/life so that other might have it abundantly.

We, as distant admirers, do not know the heart of a man like Robin Williams; but we do know that he inspired us to live more fully and to seek out much joy.

So how is it that we CAN know that he is “freed” and “at peace?”

In the parable of the sheep and goats Jesus says that, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did for me.”

You see!? The recipients of the “good fruit” have tasted the fruit of that tree and know that it is good. The beneficiaries share a connection with Jesus Christ, the judge. This is why it is possible for us to know that someone is worthy of the Kingdom.

Likewise, we cannot know whether someone is a goat, because we don’t know what good fruit they might be producing for someone else.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

Before you question the peace of someone’s soul, perhaps we should concern ourselves with finding peace in our own souls.

Rest in peace, Robin; and thank you for your inspiration.



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Filed under Theology/Spirituality

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