Kenneth Samuel: Humanity Restored

"Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you." - Acts 14:15 

As I write this devotional I, along with millions of admirers around the globe, am moved by the announcement of the death of Robin Williams. Investigators have identified suicide as the probable cause of death. 

He introduced himself to us as the incredibly quick-witted and insanely hilarious alien in the 1970's hit TV series 'Happy Days' and in the spin-off series, 'Mork and Mindy.' And for the decades since his introduction, Robin Williams displayed a comedic genius and an acting prowess that indeed seemed out of this world. 

As an A+ list comedian, an Oscar-winning actor and a notable humanitarian, Robin Williams defied the gravity of ordinary people and even soared beyond the orbit of fellow entertainers. 

Yet his death is a sober reminder to all of us that even clowns cry... sometimes. Despite his global success, he battled health problems and struggled with substance abuse and chronic depression for decades. Robin Williams was amazing. And he was also amazingly human. 

People seem to need super-human heroes and icons. And when those heroes and icons are not real in fact, they are made real in the minds of the public. 

Paul and Barnabas had so impressed a group of citizens in an ancient Turkish town that Paul and Barnabas were declared supra-human gods. In order to dispel the illusion of their supra-human status, Paul and Barnabas tore their clothing to reveal their common humanity with the people who deified them. 

In his life, Robin Williams allowed us to escape a certain reality through humor. In his death, he reminded us that he was one of us. 


God, in all of our extraordinary feats, keep us connected in common humanity. Amen.

From UCC's StillSpeaking Devotionals. Visit