Idol Chatter

Yesterday, many around the world gathered to watch the Michael Jackson memorial. There were those who were lucky enough to get tickets and then there were those, like myself, who were resigned to watching it on their computer screens. But regardless of where you were and regardless of whether you were the biggest Michael Jackson fan or his biggest detractor, you could sense that there was an unmistakable spiritual energy all about the Staples Arena yesterday afternoon.
Within the first 15 minutes of the memorial service, I found myself crying at my desk–which is why this wasn’t written yesterday. It started when I caught the tail end of the old gospel song “Soon and Very Soon” being sung as pallbearers brought in Michael’s golden, red rose covered casket. Then in came Lionel Richie to sing “Jesus is Love.” Queen Latifah read a poem by Maya Angelou entitled “We Had Him” which, within the first line stated, “Beloveds, now we know that we know nothing, now that our bright and shining star can slip away from our fingertips like a puff of summer wind.” And then there was Stevie Wonder, who in his wonderful way, sat in front of his keys and remarked that though we all may want Michael here with us now, God probably has more need of him. It was at that moment that I realized that this memorial was being made even bigger than the star it was celebrating, it became an occasion to glorify the creator of the created star.

From celebrity friends who reminisced about the good times they had with Michael to the public figures such as Al Sharpton and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson who boldly spoke up to vindicate Michael, the memorial painted a beautiful picture of the fallen King of Pop in the midst of a media who were–and are–still slinging mud on him. It all felt like Michael was being redeemed and at the core of that redemption was God.
There were so many moments in the memorial that had the imprint of God on them that it would be too many to name. But what was clear yesterday was that Michael Jackson, a man who seemed, to the world, to be pressed on every side by troubles was not crushed. He was perplexed by the way he was perceived but not driven to despair–if not in his own eyes, he showed us he wasn’t overcome. He was hunted down by the media who preyed on him, but never abandoned by his friends who prayed for him and most important His God, who we would learn yesterday was a major part of his life. He was knocked down by allegations but never destroyed. And now, he enters into the rest of his creator and as Pastor Lucius Smith so poignantly put it, “But even now the King of Pop must bow his knee to the King of Kings.”
Rest in Piece MJ.
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