I sat stunned yesterday as I read my friend DJ's Facebook status saying that the King of Pop had died. It was the kind of event that made me want to call the people I love and make sure they knew. I watched hours of coverage on television and kept refreshing Facebook and Twitter to see if I'd missed any information. I'm not really sure why. Don't get me wrong. The man was a musical genius and a revolutionary icon of pop culture. I loved his music as much as the next person who wasn't alive (or at least wasn't musically cognizant) for most of his best stuff.
Maybe I was stunned because Michael Jackson is a universally shared experience. Maybe I was sobered because his death came so unexpectedly (anyone else thinking of the preacher in Pollyanna right now?). Maybe my emotions were linked to the fact that the first song I ever slow danced to was "You are Not Alone," or because I danced it with a guy I never saw again.
But I think I was mostly sad because this man was miserable. He seemed so torn, so confused. Many people posted comments online that I considered to be rude and inappropriate. Just because people do horribly sinful things does not mean that they don't deserve love, respect, and forgiveness. If anyone needed peace, it was this man. You could see it in his face. He longed for peace of mind, relief from pain. I wish I could have told him that true peace really was available. I hope and pray that he found it in the moments before he passed.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." ~ Philippians 4:6-8
Is anyone out there? I pray that you find peace tonight.
A friend posted this comment on another site, and I wanted to include this dialogue, just in case anyone else misunderstood my point of view on this...
"Did you not have an problem with the kids? I remember doing my freshman research paper on the issue."
You mean did I not have a problem with what he did to the kids? Of course! I think it was horrendous, and it is a truly disturbed person that will hurt a child. But even truly disturbed people are still people, and everyone needs forgiveness, love, and a certain degree of respect, no matter what they have done. God's love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). So I guess my point was that no matter how much wrong he did (or how much genius he left on the worlds of music and dance), he was a miserable man and I hope he found forgiveness and peace in the end, even though there is no evidence to that effect. I hope that explains my position a little better. Anyone that knows me hopefully knows that I believe in the rights of the weak and vulnerable more passionately than almost anything else.