(Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez killed himself in his prison cell early Wednesday while serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder without the possibility of parole.)
We often look at celebrities and wonder how awesome it must be to live their life. They have the money, the fame, the big houses and seemingly no shortage of friends and lovers. But do all these material things truly make them happy? For a human being to be so hurt or damaged, that they can be motivated to kill another individual or even themselves; We must ask, what good did all the pretty ornaments do them in their life? What help did all those possessions and their name up in lights offer them in the tragic end? When the mind or soul is broken, no amount of money or fame can repair it. No friend or lover can comfort or save the soul that is plummeting into darkness or despair. A life that is lived, buried in materiality, is a life that can derail very quickly when a person is under duress.
Stories like that of Aaron Hernandez are many in our world. Rock stars, sports figures, actors and self-made millionaires have all self-destructed and destroyed their own lives when life's challenges became too great for them to bear. When life is no more than a collection of things, what stops someone from destroying those things when they are hurt by them or can no longer have them... even when those things are other people? And what stops someone from taking their own life when they lose those things they have acquired? We should not mock or hate people like Mr. Hernandez when things like this happen, but rather we should pray for them. Pray for them while they are on this earth, that they find peace and faith. And pray for their departed souls when they leave this world, that they may find freedom, forgiveness and salvation. And we should pray for those whose names are not yet in the news, that they will find light and meaning in their lives. There are a lot of hurting people out there, and we should remember them when doing our spiritual work.
We should also take a lesson from these broken souls, and realize, thalt only God can truly fill and satisfy the human heart. No amount of money, fame, education or friends and lovers will ever be able to rescue us when we find ourselves teetering on the edge of our own personal abyss. Someone once said that there is a God shaped space in every human being that nothing else can fill... how true those words have proven to be.