Today's sad news that Rick and Kay Warren's son Matt (who suffered his entire 27 years with bipolar disorder) took his life is a reminder that no one is immune from the effects of sin in this world.
I guess millions of people...I'm one...have been encouraged, strengthened and challenged by Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Church and Purpose Driven Life. Our church has done several of Saddleback Church's 40 Days "campaigns". They've made us a better church. I've been to many PDC conferences at Saddleback and have taught Rick's material to pastors in France. He's been a leader and in many ways a pastor to multiplied thousands of pastors around the world.
When a religious issue captures the nation's attention the networks call on Warren to give the evangelical take on the subject. While there's no doubt about his conservatism on cultural hot potatoes, he takes the high road of being more about Jesus than about politics. Heck, he even prayed the benediction at President Obama's first inauguration, demonstrating that he is seen as rising above partisanship.
And some might look at a pastor like Warren and think that someone so close to God, so respected and highly regarded for his faith and missionary ventures would be immune to the struggles experienced by mere commoners. But, not so. Pastors and their families live in the same real world as everyone else. They get sick. They have car wrecks. They deal with the same trials that make life difficult for every marriage, family and career.
Losing your child, especially to suicide when you've done everything you could to find him help, has to be a pain like no other. My prayer for Pastor Warren and his wife Kay is for their broken hearts to find comfort in the Lord they've served for all these years. I have no doubt their church will rally around them and give them the room they need to grieve and the support they need to go on.
Your pastor, like Warren is not superman. Don't be surprised when life in this fallen world turns sad and stormy for him.