Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Tale of Two Deaths

Today I learned of the deaths of two men.

Heath Ledger, the Oscar-nominated actor, was found dead in his apartment. It would have appeared that he had the world at his feet. Handsome, famous, in-demand in his field, Mr. Ledger undoubtedly attained levels of success I'm sure he only dreamed of as a child. And yet he was found dead, surrounded by pills. Whether this was an accidental overdose or a suicide we don't know, but we can certainly infer that this glamorous life was not all that it seemed it was. Reports are that he had struggled with a substance addiction and had been in rehab. Fame and money did not satisfy. In the end, they very rarely do.

Leo Khandjian, godly man, also died today. Father of 5, including my former pastor, Leo had been afflicted with Lewy Body Syndrome, similar to Parkinson's disease, for many years now. It's been tragic to watch the slow, painful decline. A once strong man became slower in his step, eventually being bedridden and unable to communicate. And yet, though we are sad today at the loss of this man who is much loved in our community, there is hope and joy. We know that, as a Christian, he is today walking strong and healthy once again. We know that he is in Heaven, worshipping the God he has spent his life here on earth serving. We know that, if he could choose, he wouldn't want to come back because where he is now is so glorious.

Leo and his wife were instrumental in the building of our church and I'm sure their hearts swelled with joy and pride when their son was called to be the senior pastor of that same church. They have been an inspiration to those of us who have watched them over the years. But yet, Leo isn't in heaven because of all the wonderful things he did in his life. He wasn't famous or rich.

But he was a child of the King.

He had long-ago turned his life over Jesus Christ. He served Him well and faithfully. And now Leo is enjoying the presence of his God.

Two different men. Two different lives which ended on the same day, but had nothing else in common. One was like a rocket, burning bright and shooting high but sadly ending tragically short. The other was like a rock - nothing flashy, but strong and steady. One's death is truly sad and shocking. The other's death, though sad and expected, offers hope.

How do you want to live your life?


Leeann said...

Fantastic entry, Lori.

Rob told me tonight about Heath Ledger. I hadn't heard the pills part yet. Bless his little girl's heart.


Karen said...

I had been giving Heath's death a lot of thought as well. I found it tragic and troubling, just like Anna Nicole's death. I know that Heath was not a christian and I suspect that Anna Nicole was not either. And I keep thinking, "no more chances for either of them." How tragic. Thanks for your perspective.

Also, it was good to see you post. How are you holding up?

Amanda said...

I stumbled into here through The Grocery Cart Challenge, and wanted to comment on your beautiful perspective. First off, I'm sorry for your personal loss. However, you are so right in his being made whole again, and that is truly a blessing. To compare and contrast the two men makes for a remarkable post. Thank you for sharing such a touching thought process.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin
Powered by Blogger.


twitterfacebookgoogle pluslinkedinrss feedemail