One year prior to his death, Emmy-nominated actor Matthew Perry credited a newfound relationship with God for rescuing him from drug and alcohol addiction, writing in his recent memoir that his sadness had been “washed away like a river of pain gone into oblivion.”
The actor, who was known for his role as Chandler Bing in Friends, had opened up about a drinking addiction that started at age 14 and claimed he had attended hundreds of AA meetings, been in detox 65 times and gone to rehab 15 times. He estimated he had spent $9 million on rehab programs.
He died Oct. 28 at the age of 54.
In 2018, he survived a coma after nearly dying from a gastrointestinal perforation.
He overcame his addiction in the past few years thanks to the power of God, he wrote in his book Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.
“‘God, please help me,’ I whispered. ‘Show me that you are here. God, please help me.’ As I kneeled, the light slowly began to get bigger and bigger until it was so big that it encompassed the entire room. … What was happening? And why was I starting to feel better?” he wrote.
“I started to cry. I mean, I really started to cry — that shoulder-shaking kind of uncontrollable weeping. I wasn’t crying because I was sad. I was crying because, for the first time in my life, I felt OK. I felt safe and taken care of. Decades of struggling with God, and wrestling with life, and sadness, all was being washed away, like a river of pain gone into oblivion.”
The prayer, he wrote, was very different from a selfish prayer he had prayed as a youngster when he asked God to make him famous.
“I had been in the presence of God,” he wrote, referencing his newfound faith. “I was certain of it. And this time, I had prayed for the right thing: help.”
Photo Courtesy: ©Getty Images/Phillip Faraone / Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
We would do well to consider how biblical patterns might inform our contemporary actions. Read James Spencer’s full article here.
Sound and Photo Credit:©/iStock/Getty Images Plus/skynesher