I grew up with Bill Cosby. Ok, not literally, but it was Bill Cosby I first knew (or so I thought) and not Cliff Huxtable.
My parents had the vinyls (yeah, you read that right) of Cosby’s first comedy recordings. I remember sitting in the lounge listing to these over and over again. They are still some of the funniest stuff I have ever heard!
Eventually I copied the vinyls onto cassette tape (yep, you read that right) so I could listen to them in my room and in may car. (Though my first car had an 8Track/cassette adaptor – yep you read that right.) A few years ago, I passed those cassettes on to my son who has listened to them over and over again!
I watched reruns of I Spy and The Electric Power Company and probably every episode of Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. I knew him as Cosby, or even just the “Cos” long before he was Cliff Huxtable in The Cosby Show and A Different World.
I remember seeing this live and being so disturbed, because I thought Mr. & Mrs. Huxtable were married!
My sister gave me a copy of Cosbyology and I can remember reading it at night before bed crying with laughter then reading the portion to my wife and she replying, “Huh! I don’t see the humour!”
Are all the stories coming out about Cosby’s treatment of women true? I don’t know… There is certainly an increasing number of similar stories coming forward spanning decades. Whether true or not, I have been shocked, unsettled, and stirred.
I listened to and watched so much of Cosby growing up, because he was wholesome, clean, and generally moral. Sure when I watch or hear some of the episodes today I think, “that’s not as wholesome as I remember” but still, at the time Cosby was a man who exemplified morality.
In a strange way I trusted him.
I have been shocked to think that the man I trusted and often considered a leading moral light in the entertainment industry may have been the exact opposite in reality.
I continue to be a bit unsettled. Do I listen to his stuff anymore? Do I let my son listen to the tapes I gave him? Do I laugh when I read a Cosby quote or think about a section from Cosbyology. If I find him funny, knowing that these things about him may be true, am I in some way advocating what he has done?
I am stirred to consider reality afresh. Some from a younger generation may find it funny that I thought so much about Bill Cosby. But all they have to do is replace Cosby with whatever reality TV star or singer, or etc. who has their attention and they will be able to relate.
Some people say, “reality is always uglier than fantasy” but I don’t think so… The reality of our lives is always uglier than fantasy, that is true. But, my problem, and the problem of so many is that we think our lives are reality and when we see the ugliness of our lives we are stirred to despair. But we must look beyond ourselves, the Bill Cosby’s of this world, and in fact this world itself and see that reality is ultimately determined by and found in God alone!
Psalm 36:9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. (Psa 36:9 ESV)
You see we can only see anything at all for what it actually is when we first see God for Who He actually is and through Him we see ourselves and this world aright.
In the New Testament we read the following with regards to Jesus:
John 1:9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. (Joh 1:9 ESV)
John 3:19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. (Joh 3:19 ESV)
John 8:12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (Joh 8:12 ESV)
John 12:46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. (Joh 12:46 ESV)
2 Corinthians 4:4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2Co 4:4 ESV)
I am stirred, afresh, to place my hope in Christ alone, the Light of the world, Ultimate reality.
When I do, He shocks me anew by His sinless perfection and unfailing love.
When I do, He unsettles me anew, by His matchless grace which is more than sufficient for my sin.
When I do, He stirs me anew, to love Him more than anyone or anything in this world.