Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Philanthropy at it's finest.

This may be a little ridiculous or cliche to do a blog post over a celebrity that I don't even know. But, hey, it's the internet. Paul Walker is by far one of mine and Trey's favorite actors. He's best known for starring in 6 of the 7 Fast and Furious movies, but we've loved him since his Skulls and Joy Ride days. He passed away on Saturday, the 30th in a car accident. At first, with all of the hoaxes for celebrity deaths that go around, I thought it was a joke. But several searches and texts later -- I found it wasn't.

My initial thoughts were, oh my.. he's only 40. This can't be right. It was even more sad to know that it was an accident and that the car ended up in flames. I can't even begin to let my thoughts go to what the actual death cause was, it's too sad. His friend, Roger Rodas, was driving the Porsche that took both of their lives. They were merely several hundred yards away from a charity event that had just come to a close.

I was sad the whole rest of my trip home Saturday, most of Sunday and I can honestly tell you I didn't stop grieving until probably after work yesterday. You'd probably say that's crazy. But you didn't even know him. Well, in my world of movie-love, I felt like I did. At least, I felt I knew Brian (his character on FF). We had come to love that story line over the last 10 years. We've watched the movies countless times and they never get old to us. I have never in my life grieved for an actor but I continued to silently pray for he and his family, especially his young daughter Meadow who is only 15.

I found that I not only lost a favorite actor, we lost someone who believed in our majestic God. He said,

 I’m a Christian now. The things that drove me crazy growing up was how everyone works at fault-finding with different religions. The people I don’t understand are atheists. I go surfing and snowboarding and I’m always around nature. I look at everything and think, ‘Who couldn’t believe there’s a God? Is all this a mistake?’ It just blows me away.

The difficulty isn't just knowing we lost another child of God to such tragedy. It was that he's just gone, just like that -- and there was no way to stop it. It saddened my heart. That wasn't the only thing that made my heart a little heavier.. it was that he had a heart for people. His spare time wasn't just cars and movies, it was helping others around the world. Losing someone like that.

His philanthropic heart just about stole mine! He started Reach Out Worldwide which is a quick-response, mobile first aid organization aiding in rescue and recovery after major natural disasters around the globe. He has flown under the radar to help the victims from the Alabama tornado disaster, Haiti's earthquake, Philippines and other natural disasters that have struck. He has used money from his own pocket, sources say, to organize and take teams to help with recovery. 

The hardest part of letting anyone at all go, favorite actor or not, is that sometimes it happens slow enough to brace yourself and sometimes it's so quick you don't even know how to react. I can't even begin to imagine how devastated his family and friends are -- and I'm just a fan! It was nice to gain some perspective, even over the death of our beloved Paul Walker. He wasn't just an actor in our eyes, he is someone who just reminded us there are great works to be done and he showed us by doing them. Love God, love people, serve both -- right? What a good doer of the Word, Paul. We will forever miss you! Rest in Heaven.   

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