Who is your biggest childhood idol? What was it about this person that caused your heart to race? Why does this person feel larger than life to you? For me, there were a lot. For a while, I had a man crush on Nicholas Cage (I can feel your eyes rolling). Who didn’t love Con Air?!
When I was about seven years old, I went over to my friend Travis’ house. Travis was a few years older than me and I thought he hung the moon. Travis pulled out his guitar and he started playing a song I had never heard. He said it was called “Come as you are” by the band Nirvana. I was hooked. Even as a young kid, I thought it was so catchy, cool, and heavy. When I was ten, my parents let me buy the album “Nevermind” by Nirvana. Between that album, and Amish Paradise by Weird Al, those albums were played non-stop.
One of my favorite things to do is to get up in front of people and tell them about who God has been in my life. For three years in a row, I have had the chance to drive down from Seattle to a little town called Aberdeen to speak at Harbor City Church. The people at this church have become close to my heart. A few days before I went down this year, I stumbled upon a documentary about Kurt Cobain on Netflix. I was shocked. I had no idea that the lead singer of one of my favorite childhood bands was from the same town that I was getting ready to go and speak at just a few days later.
As I was pulling into the little town, the same one that produced one of the biggest and most notorious rockstars to ever live, I noticed a sign that said “Welcome to Aberdeen, Come as you are.” I got a chill up my spine. “Was that where the title had come from?” The same one that I head banged to as a wannabe rocker kid? I can’t really identify the feelings that I felt as I drove through this little town. Thinking how as a little boy, Kurt Cobain played on these streets, went to these shops, went on dates at these restaurants. What became even more surreal was when I drove up to the house that he grew up in (pictured above). My heart sank. As I sat in front of this normal house, I couldn’t help but feel so sad at his story. Here was a kid who had a normal life, until his parents got divorced when he was nine. His life was forever changed. After a long battle with addiction and depression, he ended up taking his own life. I wondered what would have happened if some of the decisions that he made might have been different?
I wonder if someone would have come and walked beside a broken little boy and answered the cry of a hurting heart, if he would have felt like life was worth living. We’ll never know. As an adult, I don’t particularly idolize his life anymore, but as a kid, I thought he was pretty cool. What I realized though, was there are so many people around us today who are fighting the same battle he was fighting. Bound with depression, addiction, self-hate, and darkness. God has called his people, the church, to bring love into the darkest of places. To stop in our busy lives and reach into the worlds of those who need help. Maybe you are in a similar spot Kurt was in, if that’s so, know that you are loved and worthy of it. Reach out for help. Life is worth living, and you are not alone.