When Andy Warhol spoke in 1968 about the now-proverbial 15 minutes of fame that everyone would achieve, do you suppose he had Charlie Sheen in mind? I doubt it. But if he wasn’t famous before (and he was, to a certain following), his fame has gone ‘viral’, thanks to his recent rants to the media and his obvious (to the rest of us, at least) emotional instability.
Sheen, in at least one interview, even criticized his own father for speaking about his addiction. Martin Sheen said of his son, “He’s an extraordinary man. If he had cancer, how would we treat him? The disease of addiction is a form of cancer, and you have to have an equal measure of concern and love and lift them up, so that’s what we do for him.”
Charlie’s response was to call his father “judgmental”. But wouldn’t you say that his father’s response was far more loving than judgmental?
In our society today, we are very quick to pronounce something ‘judgmental’ when we don’t agree with it – perhaps even faster, I dare say, than some are to pronounce judgment on others! When we love someone, what might sound judgmental to the person in crisis may actually be intended to be a caring outreach.
When we are in a position of instability, however, it isn’t always heard that way. The key is to consider the source from which the statement comes.
Granted, this is Hollywood, and father-son relationships (like most other kinds of relationships) in Hollywood often don’t always fit the norm. But in this case, I think it does: a father sees his son spiralling toward a serious ‘crash’ in life, and he wants to see his son get help. And of course, because all we get are sound bites through the media, we probably don’t have the whole story. But this looks, to me, like a dad who wants the best for his boy. But Charlie can’t see that right now.
Each of us finds ourselves in crisis at some point in our lives, and one of the things we can do to prepare for that is to remember, by whatever means necessary, that there are people who love us and who want the very best for us. If we can put that into an ‘unforgettable’ section of our brains, it will serve us well when we need to call on it.
Jesus illustrated this for us when he said, “You parents – if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him” (Matthew 7.9-11, NLT).
Charlie Sheen has a father who loves him, something for which he will hopefully, one day, be grateful. He also has a heavenly Father who loves him – a Father who can fill the void inside that Charlie is currently filling with things that only satisfy for a moment.
Pray for Charlie Sheen, that with God’s help, he will come to his senses and realize the destruction he is bringing on himself. And pray that he will experience the love of his heavenly Father, and be changed from the inside out.
Also, pray for yourself, and for others, that all of us will know and experience the Father who gives good gifts to his children.