Actor Lee Thompson Young took his life this week at age 29. Best known for his roles on The Famous Jett Jackson and playing the part of Detective Barry Frost on TNT’s Rizzoli and Isles, Young gave no public indication of depression or discontent. What drives one to snuff out one’s own life? Those who watch Hollywood from a distance sometimes think, “The rich and famous have NO reason to be dismayed or suicidal”. Of course, we don’t know what kinds of demons lurk behind closed doors…. nor how many of them there are. This suicide has caused me to recommit myself to checking in on folks. Every person on the planet needs to hear that they are loved, cared for, desired and valuable. Already in the habit of making weekly phone calls to a short list of my elders, I hereby commit myself to checking on the youngers.  Even those who seem to have every advantage and a world of options open to them, need care.

Lee Thompson Young’s death has caused me to think of every 29 year old I know.

“How are YOU?”  “What are some of your biggest disappointments”? “What is one experience you are celebrating this week”? “How may I serve you”? “How may I pray for you this week?”

May our mouths be filled with such questions. May our hearts embrace the lonely, the confused, the famous, the infamous and the silent.