Actor Willie Ames is famous for his roles on Eight Is Enough (1970’s) and in the show Charles in Charge (1980’s), he has had a large fan following over the years. Willie also starred in video’s from 1995-2004 as a superhero named Bibleman; winning a whole new generation of young fans. He became a Christian and an ordained minister after struggling for years with drug/alcohol addictions. He appeared to have things together in his life.
Just this past November Willie, and his second wife Maylo McCaslin Ames, wrote a book together called Grace is Enough. Shortly after this book was published, on Thanksgiving 2008, Willie Ames allgedly tried to take his own life. This is why God tells us to keep our eyes on him and not on man ( or woman). We are vulnerable to attacks by the enemy (Satan) and we can fail one another as role models from time to time. It is unfair to put someone on a pedestal as an example to follow because they are; for all intents and purposes, human just like us. Only Jesus is the perfect example to follow.
It seems that Willie found himself in the position of having to declare bankruptsy, having his vehicle repossesed and having his wife of 22 years ask him for a divorce. I am sure the fear of failure, rejection, the possibility of an upcoming divorce, slipping back to the pull of his addictions, and the financial difficulties all contributed to his suicide attempt. When people are overloaded with difficulties that come all at once…that is when escape starts to sound good…it is an illusion that a Christian is tempted with by his spiritual adversary, Satan. Suicide is not a solution…it is an really just another way to self-destruct; it an attack on that person’s physical and spiritual being. http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ It is important to seek help when depression and despair overwhelms a person.
Willie is a Christian yes, but he is a human being also. One who has struggled with these issues of addiction and self-destruction. He has tried to live in a place of leadership; which is admirable. From reading excerpts of their book….it sounds as though both Willie and Maylo have allegedly come from previous places of dysfunction. No one lives a perfect life…Christians are a work in progress; and, some of the same negative circumstances and forces that affect non-Christians, affect Christians as well.
I hope that through this time of difficulty, that Willie and his family can receive proper spiritual counseling and emotional counseling to help them sort things out. Certainly, we wish him well in his healing path. As anyone who had had to struggle with these kinds of issues…it is important to know that support is very important from family, friends and, health care professionals; when it is needed.
For those who would condemn or look askance at Willie’s actions and ask incrediously, how a Christian could do such a thing; I would counter that by asking that person to think compassionately. When people are in despair and going through some of the worst situations that life has to offer …faith is a lifeline… but, faith is a fragile thing sometimes. We are to encourage one another and lift each other up. While Willie played a superhero….he is not superhuman…he is a man who has to find his way back to a place of prominence, by putting faith into action once again,.
Do you think Christians are immune from depression and confusion; or should they be? Do you know any other Christian who has struggled with addictions and depression and then been able to build their life back up from that desperate place? Have you yourself been there? National Suicide Prevention Lifeline