Hope is scary

robin williams

A friend of mine and I recently talked about signs. Things that are more than happenstance, a glimpse into something designed, destined, happening with certain and perfect reason, and then we talked about the scary feeling whenever something occurs in life that is so inopportune, and aligned so that you might have imagined a creator before, but now—now you’re certain beyond reasonable doubt and…what then?

In my life I’ve seen periods where death came and went, converging in this apex of my own bubble of trials in such a way that the formula was apparent. As if above me in the sky I saw written: x2 X 42 = 2014

How we think this is the way it will always be until the next season of change smacks us in the face, propelling us forward into a whole new adventure.


Such a funny word, because it’s only part of the equation. Eventually it stops. Altogether it ends.

I wrote on Facebook about Robin Williams and the arguments, obsessive complaints, and happy pretenders, all of us a people who are unwilling to look at the unimaginable pain in the face because that’s exactly what it is: Pain.

The bible says, “The sorrows of the world is death.”

Helk yeah, brother.

And compassion is slow in coming, it seems.

But this post is about two movies, instead. I watched Shrink the other day totally on accident and Robin Williams is in it as a patient to a shrink who’s given up on life himself (Kevin Spacey). Kevin’s character is selling books about how to be happy when in reality his own wife had committed suicide and he’s a fraud. The movie premise is basically about him being a hypocrite who’s selling his own success for the steps toward happiness, but he doesn’t believe it himself.


This movie was the weirdest parallel I’ve ever seen to the current loss of the great comedian Williams.

But it gets even weirder.

Williams plays a patient who’s trying to convince the shrink that he’s a sex addict when in reality he’s an alcoholic.

He loves his wife, he says, but he wants to feel like a man again. Then he breaks down crying asking for help, saying he’s so lost.

You don’t have a soul if you can watch this part without completely feeling gutted. Here is art imitating life in such a bold and strangely apparent way, it’s unbelievable.

I felt sick for him, and sad, and terribly depressed seeing the man himself on my giant 55-incher saying he hated his life with tears in his eyes.


We seek what we seek, and I tell ya, it’s not always everything we hoped for.

And that brings us to hope.

Now, I know you think this is an excellent word. A fabulous and happy word. But I learned otherwise over the weekend. Hope terrifies. It’s almost as bad as depression in how scary of a thing it is to people.


We watched ‘Heaven is for real’ and I was so inspired but also awed by the truth of the idea that the people around the Burpos basically freaked over such a certainty. They were fine with some fluffy, far away idea. But…as a reality? Get out of here!

Sure, we sing about it at church and stuff…but actually having proof? Not on my watch!


Whether you believe the little boy or not, you have to see the trueness of the towns reaction.

Old times they’d have been burned for witches.

Something so close and tangible (heebeee-jeebees!) vs. some other plane of existence as a nice and fun idea—rather starring us smack in the face comes with a whole bag of possibilities.

Wow. That’s scary crap, man.

We all got swagger until we realize the spiritual side of things is as nerve wracking as a Alfred Hitchcock film.

Magic isn’t as fun when it’s not bottled in a book or telivision. When it’s making the unthinkable happen in a place were scientific “rules” apply, we tend to either block it out or completely freak.

“You mean the universe is magical balls floating in space and they might kill us some day? Yes. Yes I do.”

In the movie the boy goes out of his body, yes, but he sees the “heavens” inside his dad’s church like a wall opening up. Like a veil lifting. (that’s how the Bible describes it too)

I’m not saying I know exactly if he saw anything like that, or if it was all a dream, or that I felt like any boy that young could give an accurate account, but the idea of it is uplifting and I love being uplifted. It’s not really the wise that sneer at every fancy. It’s the fearful, I’ve begun to realize.

And I’m old enough to stop being such a stickler, cynic, wah wah. So there.

But I get scared too thinking that this whole place is just sitting here in my living room waiting. Ahhhhhh! We are going to die! We’re all going to die!

That’s sort of how it felt, and why?

Because: Hope is so-so scary.

If the movie has it down exactly as it is then we’d simply step from one room to the next when we die.

How amazing would that be?

And how scary is it to hope for that and have it be wrong?

Very and lots!

BECAUSE it’s a lot of eggs in a single basket. And that’s why people don’t buy into it as easy as pie.

Think about it. We’re in a place where everything that looks too good to be true IS. Pyramid schemes abound!



Then there’s the number ONE problem about believing in this idea.

IF there is a heaven and a creator….what does that mean to me? What questions does that pose for my life?

And if I don’t go off gently into the night when I die…but instead I am in the night now—THIS is the night, and I wake up into the light, what then?

What then…

(cue spooky music)