Billy Mays and a recognition of mortality.

Ok. This week has been a little bit crazy, and I think it's time someone on the blogosphere chimed in on the events (please, please note sarcasm).

It started with Ed McMahon, the beloved old guy who handed out money. I think he had something to do with Johnny Carson too, but I'm not sure. Anyway, when his death was announced on CNN, it was neither shocking our surprising. He was getting on in years, and as we're all aware no one is getting out of here alive. So while it was sad, it was not exactly unforeseen.

Then came Farrah. Again, not exactly surprising, seeing as she had been struggling with cancer for quite some time. It was at this point that I started to wonder if there was something in the water in hollywood, as all of these celebrities were passing away all together. No sooner had we all digested the news of Farrah Fawcett dying than...

Michael Jackson. For so long he had been joked about and ridiculed for some obvious mental health issues. This death was absolutely shocking and surprising. 50? That is not the age most people expire, at least without some sort of horrible tragedy on hand. I was out with my wife and her mother when I heard. This apparently was the death the media would be focusing it's attention on. For a few days it's been nothing but Michael. While I'm greatful that most people seem to be remembering him for his wonderful contributions to the world of music and not the ridiculous aspects of his life, there's still something that bugged me about what was going on in the media. At this point it was clear that something was happening to celebrities across the board, and I had no idea who the next victim would be...

Billy Mays. Unreal. Apparently something happened on a flight he was on, and it took a while for him to feel the effects. I loved this guy. He was so over the top that you could not help but keep your eyes fixed upon him when he lit up your tv screen. He too was only 50 years old. It has been a sad time indeed.

Ed McMahon died on Tuesday, June 23rd. Billy Mays died on Sunday, June 28th. There were five days (of course, I hesitate to jinx this by thinking perhaps another famous person will bite the dust soon) of celebrities dying. I still can't turn on my tv to get actual news about what's going on in the world because our attention has been so fixated on these four souls who's hearts stopped beating. For five days, on one level or another, our nation was focused on mortality.

I learned just now that every 3 seconds a child dies in Africa from AIDs. For those like me who struggle with math, that's 180 a minute, 10,800 an hour, 259,200 a day, meaning that between Ed and Billy there were 1,296,000 children who gave up their souls on one continent alone. 40,000 children die each day of hunger around the world, again meaning that between Ed and Billy there were 200,000 children who died. CNN has not contributed many stories to any of them.

I know this is heavy handed. I know it's probably not what you might have expected on a blog about Billy Mays. But it's been heavy on my heart these last few days, and I think it needs to be on all of our hearts. Why is a famous persons life more important to us than one of these precious children? Why are they worth more of our attention?

Jesus said some pretty interesting things about all of this:

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

Yes, it's true that I will absolutely morn the loss of our great hero Billy Mays, and some of the other celebs who have gone into the great unknown. But I think today I'm going to spend a little bit more time morning some of our brothers and sisters in Africa. And, I think I'm going to write a letter to my sponsor child through Compassion.

While I hope that I don't often use this blog to push or advertise anything, I would encourage everyone to seriously consider sponsoring a child with Compassion, or any of the other great child sponsorship organizations out there. The relationship Sarah and I have built with our child is magical, and I promise is worth way more than the 40 bucks a month I send over there.

So if you're mourning the loss of someone famous (or perhaps even someone less famous who passed recently), may I encourage you to try to make a difference in a little one's life?