I had the opportunity to watch from the comfort and privacy of my own living-room the memorial ceremony dedicated to Michael Jackson.  I have to be honest and say that although I was a huge fan from a very young age and posters of the different stages in Michael’s musical career adorned my bedroom for many years back in our holiday home in Spain and have not yet been removed, for the last decade or so I had grown totally uninterested in his life and music and my perception of him has recently been tainted and influenced by the hype the media has created around his failures and alleged offences.  I have to be honest and say that when I heard of the accusations made against him, it did not take long before doubt crept into my head and I had no hesitation in agreeing with the media by passing judgement and harbouring unforgiveness and resentment for his alleged offences.  I am ashamed to admit that yes, although when it comes to our individual lives and those of our loved ones we are all too quick to say: “Innocent until proved guilty”, when it is about someone else, how feeble and weak a man’s integrity can be that we all rush to throw the first stone.  It is not my place to judge what Michael Jackson may or may not have done and this is not the purpose of this post, but I just felt I had to voice out my repentance and ask God’s forgiveness for myself and for all those of us who can so easily throw the weak one to the lions when the tide has turned.  You know, it was not long ago that my husband lost his job due to false accusations, evil tongues and witch hunts cleverly planned to ensure that there would be no possibility of him returning to his old job.   During that period of time, my husband and I were broken-hearted to witness the easiness and cold-bloodedness with which human beings can stab someone in the back to advance their own goals and objectives in life, to make a name for themselves, to erase the competition, to destroy a reputation, to become number one in whatever area of their lives they are seeking to exalt themselves above others.  And yet, in my heart, as I have been reflecting about the life and death of Michael Jackson, I know deep down that I am guilty of exactly the same sin: contributing to taint someone’s name just because the majority of public opinion at the time of the accusations made against him were of the mind that he was already guilty, even if his guilt remains to be proved by undeniable evidence.

Over these last few months I have written innumerable posts about faith and the Christian walk, and this morning I feel utterly convicted to look within and reflect on one of the most key areas of being a true Christian, loving our neighbours as ourselves.  Jesus said:  He who has no sin, let him throw the first stone.  How can we be so hypocritical and blind that we are consumed by the fleshly desire to destroy anything that stands out over us, anyone whose light shines brighter than us, anyone who does their job better than us, anyone who loves better than us, anyone who has achieved so much more than us? Yes, Michael Jackson had his shortcomings as a human being and no doubt there would have been many things he was ashamed of in his life, but who can say that is not the case for each and everyone of us?

I would like to share with you one of the highlights for me of yesterday’s memorial, and believe me when I tell you, if you have not seen it, that there were many.  It is the performance of Michael Jackson’s song “Gone too soon” by Usher.  There is a certain prophetic quality about the content of this song as in a way, it pretty much describes Michael’s own journey and its end.  It is a beautiful song and it is a stark reminder of the precious quality of our life here on earth, a life that is just but a breath, here now and gone tomorrow.  How are you spending these fleeting moments called life?  Are you living them for the here and now or with the daily reminder that today is here and is gone tomorrow.  There may not even be a tomorrow.  Which one would you rather have, if given the choice?  A long life during which you plod along without having much of an impact on those around you; you are merely getting by day by day sustaining yourself and your family and loved ones or would you rather live a life which you know will be short but full of the extraordinary, the one-off opportunities, the chances to do something lasting for humanity, the opportunity to become a bright shining light in this dark, corrupted old world, if only for one brief moment and at the very real risk of becoming the target of hatred, persecution and slander?  It is not just Michael who has gone too soon.  That will be true sooner than we realise for all of us.  What are we doing with the gifts and resources we have been blessed with? Are we hiding it all under the stones for a rainy day or are we investing them wisely to produce a harvest which will last for eternity?  If anyone reading this has been feeling called to do something radical and meaningful to help someone else, to improve another person’s quality of life or to show love to someone who has none, do not wait until tomorrow to do it.  Do it right now for that moment will soon be gone and a wonderful opportunity to make this world a better place will be lost forever.

“Gone Too Soon”

Like A Comet
Blazing ‘Cross The Evening Sky
Gone Too Soon

Like A Rainbow
Fading In The Twinkling Of An Eye
Gone Too Soon

Shiny And Sparkly
And Splendidly Bright
Here One Day
Gone One Night

Like The Loss Of Sunlight
On A Cloudy Afternoon
Gone Too Soon

Like A Castle
Built Upon A Sandy Beach
Gone Too Soon

Like A Perfect Flower
That Is Just Beyond Your Reach
Gone Too Soon

Born To Amuse, To Inspire, To Delight
Here One Day
Gone One Night

Like A Sunset
Dying With The Rising Of The Moon
Gone Too Soon

Gone Too Soon



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