TV star and producer Dick Clark passed away in 2012, several years after being afflicted by a stroke. Though his legacy includes American Bandstand and New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, his most important accomplishment may be more recent.
After his stroke in December 2004, many people assumed Clark’s on-camera career would end. Instead, he returned to New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in 2005. His speech was slurred and he wasn’t able to move as he used to. Yet underneath the debilitation, there was a spark of determination. In a TV landscape that often presents us with unattainable images of physical perfection, here was a man demonstrating that life could still be lived with purpose even after something bad has happened. Human dignity was still there.
In a way, Clark’s presence on TV after the stroke was a gift to viewers—a reminder that life goes on even when things are not perfect, even when people are not perfect—and that’s okay. Our inherent dignity as children of God always remains.
The human body is a fleeting thing, but a…good name
lasts forever. (Sirach 41:11,13)
Help me see the dignity of the infirm, Messiah.