Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I don't get it. I'm sorry I just don't get it. It's sad anytime someone dies "out of order" whether too young or too needed by those around them. But the media attention given to Michael Jackson's death is a mystery to me. I understand Gail Storm's death. She was old. I understand Ed McMahon's, he was kinda old. (He had to go first so when these other's came out from behind eternity's curtain he could say, "heeerrres' Farrah.")It's sad but Farrah Fawcett had battled cancer a long time and was worn out. Michael Jackson was an entertainer and since news is now in the entertainment business more than the truth business, I can see the hype a little bit. But it has been like the Michael Jackson Death as Reality Show for five days now. Come on, he never found a cure for cancer, though he did give some money to Elizabeth Taylor's Aids relief. He was not a chemist, physicist, inventor, doctor, teacher, writer or coach. He will not have an endowed chair at an institute for higher education named after him nor a wing at a children's hospital either. I guess that could happen but I wouldn't put my kid there if it did. His legacy, according to a CBS reporter was that he perfected the music video and paved the way for Madonna and MTV. I wouldn't want that on my tombstone. I read he was very generous at one time to people and charities which is commendable. But anyone who went through billions of dollars probably should have been able to set up foundations, trusts, and charities that could be funded for generations. Instead, he may have been pretty well broke when he died except for royalty's from Beatles songs he purchased. I know this sounds terrible of me. I tried to be magnanimous and cut the man some slack. I freely admit he had a great talent for dancing and singing when he was still black. I heard people on the television say that he changed their lives. So I looked up the words to several of his hit songs and videos to see what depth of wisdom, passion, joy, and truth were contained therein. Bupkis. Nada. Simply not there. Nothing to even write on his own tombstone. Not all of this is his own fault, in a sense. In our world, at least this part of it, entertainment has become one of, if not the chief value. Entertainment has taken over for truth, justice, righteousness, morality, and servanthood on so many levels. From the classroom to the pew, from the bedroom to the boardroom, keep it moving, keep it feeling good, keep the laughs coming, and the money rolling and all shall be right and all shall be forgiven. You can be a thug, just don't drop the pass; be a nasty dude and long as your jumpshot kisses the glass. Here's what's even sadder to me: this man died at age 50. He was purportedly 5'10" and weighed about 115 lbs. He was pretty well broke and was in ill health. The news talks about his music, his legacy, his family, his records, his dancing, singing, his creepiness and his weird if not sinful episodes with little boys. And you would think by all the news coverage he was one of the greatest men since Lincoln. A man died at age 50. Broke. Sick. Probably Lost to eternity. But we don't view things in those terms. It's bad for ratings. It's too eternal sounding. It requires an evaluation of life beyond its entertainment value and in this world there is little value beyond entertainment. Michael Jackson was called the King of Pop. He once bought a place and called it Neverland. It had circus animals and circus rides. It was a place for fun and fantasy- a place where you didn't have to grow up just like Peter Pan. It didn't last. The animals are gone. The rides are gone. The fantasy has been replaced by the reality of death. There was another one designated the King from a generation ago. He died prematurely too. He sang a song maybe the King of Pop should have listened to: It's Only Make Believe. All he built his life on is destined for neverland, it was only make believe. There is only one King, and He does not share power or glory. But He will share His life, His home, His eternity to all who will receive Him. It's not found in a place called Never, but in a place called Ever. Everlasting to everlasting- A reality far better than the greatest fantasy we can imagine. Maybe that's what killed Michael, the lack of imagination. He couldn't imagine a place better than the fantasy he could build. But his fantasy couldn't overcome the reality of death. Maybe the church can help others with their imaginations by showing folks the Reality that overcomes even death. Terry

Wednesday, June 17, 2009