Princess Leia is dead.
By now most have heard that Carrie Fisher passed away in recent weeks. The star actress making her name as a heroic Star Wars figure will surely be missed from those in touch with the Lucas Galaxy.
Yet, Fisher’s influence reached a little closer to home than a galaxy far, far away.
Carrie had a very real and very public battle with mental illness. "I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I'm still surviving it, but bring it on. Better me than you," she told Diane Sawyer in 2001.
In 2016, Harvard College gave Fisher the Outstanding Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism, explaining that “her forthright activism and outspokenness about addiction, mental illness… have advanced public discourse on these issues with creativity and empathy.” (MAY THE FORCE BE WITH HER: www.thedailybeast.com)
Fighting on the screen and off of it. Carrie was so committed to the cause that her brother put her cremated remains in an urn that depicted a large Prozac pill. What meant so much to her became a part of how her family would remember her. Her passion will continue to live on every time someone even glances at her ashes. In death, the cause still lives.
A Prozac urn would not be a first choice for my remains, but I would like to follow Carrie’s example. Upon death, would my passion be clear to others? Would others continue the fight long after I’m gone? I wonder what my urn would represent.
As a Christ follower, I believe it is pretty clear what we are to fight for. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
Through death, Jesus brought life. Life free from past mistakes, a life no longer filled with destructive habits. The fight against spiritual death is worth my life. We might not have a lightsaber or be able to use the force. Yet since the author of life lives within us, I think we stand a fighting chance.
When my life is over, I hope others recognized my fight with Jesus to give life. (and maybe that I was a big Star Wars fan too.)