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My introduction to Norm Macdonald was split between old SNL reruns on Comedy Central and his movie “Dirty Work.” His delivery, which was so deadpan and blunt, evoked a personal courage that was so foreign to me. (And still is.)
When I found out that he died I felt crushed, like a piece of me was lost. Because so many talented people pass away into the oblivion of death and, despite every effort of their fans, eventually fade from memory.
Often when someone dies, I say to myself, “I hope you were saved,” because I honestly wanted to see them again someday. It’s a selfish desire, but I know that that person was created for God’s glory, and that they were blessed with talents that, like an artist’s signature, illustrate an aspect (or characteristic) of God. And when someone is facing death, their egos weaken and they re-evaluate the nature of the universe before they leave it. I hope that, someday, my own heroes will realize this, so that they can be in on the joke: that their magnitude was not for them, but for God.
I did find out though, after the fact, that Norm was a Christian. Or at least, that there was evidence that he was. (Because no one knows for sure, do they?) It brought me comfort knowing that after a lifetime of beholding the injustice of the world and speaking truth to that as a comedian, that Norm was finally with God and telling his jokes in his presence. That reality brings me hope, because we are not here to be great in our own right. We are here to be great and know that it is because of God that we are great.
I’ll catch you again, someday, Norm. Until then…