The sudden and tragic death of anyone, even if they are a complete stranger, always hits us deeply – especially if the person is on the younger side. And if the individual is “famous” the magnitude of the passing seems to take on an even larger meaning.

Such was the death of basketball great Kobe Bryant – who was as easily unliked by many as he was worshiped by others.

Unliked because he came off as supremely arrogant in his early years – an attribute that was only tempered as he got older. Throw in the sexual abuse case that he eventually settled out of court and you have the makings for “just another lost prima-donna sports star” – swooned over by millions because he was exceedingly good at putting a 9.5” rubber ball through an 18” metal hoop.

On the other hand he was a human being – a reportedly devoted (now) father and family man that in retirement was all about his children and quietly doing things for others in ways most of the world will never know about. Someone who had learned, mellowed and matured – much like the vast majority of people – over the course of his 41 years.

So in response to his death I was severely reminded of two things:

– Exceedingly high adulation for any human being is just that – exceeding.

– And ours is not to judge.

Ever.

For but by the Grace of God go us all.

Each and every one.

– Stuart Revercomb