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I can’t breathe.


Last night I sobbed myself to sleep.

Not cried. I literally choked on sobs. I sobbed for sons I have not borne yet. For their sons. The wives and sisters who will love the men and boys who generate from my body. I sobbed for my brothers, my dad, my uncles and my grandfathers. And all the women who have loved them. I wondered how in the world did my people grieve during a time they had no possible legal recourse for a lynching, a shooting, a beating, a killing? How did the generations before me get up again when the lives of their loved ones and community members were taken and destroyed indiscriminately? How did they continue on?

My prayer last night was a prayer that echoed through me from the moment I heard one of Eric Garners’ killers would not be indicted on any charge for his death. There would be no trial. There would be no justice. For yet another murder. “Father, how are we still here? How is it possible that you have not destroyed us all? What is keeping you from incinerating the earth? What type of world do we live in that we can witness a murder and not charge the murderer?”

I will demand blood for life. I will demand the life of any animal that kills a person, and I will demand the life of anyone who takes another person’s life.

“Whoever kills a human being
    will be killed by a human being,
because God made humans
    in his own image.

Genesis 9:5-6

Last night, as I marched through the streets of New York City, I wondered what would I offer for the lives of people on this earth? The only offering I have is my life. And quite honestly, I was ready for violence last night. Had a riot started, I would have been in the midst of it. Had someone been handing out flames to torch this city, I would have lit up as much as I could until I was taken down. That’s how I felt. And I kept on thinking, “But God! You gave Your Son for the people on this earth! I am having difficulty understanding why You gave up Your Son for these people. For us. I would hide my son away!”

How can a people created and preserved in such love, be capable of such hate and injustice? I have no answer, so I sob. Humans are so lucky I am not God. If I were, they would have no hope of salvation or redemption.

Now I am thinking about the Son God gave the world for payment of its sins. Jesus, sweet Jesus who Himself for a time felt forsaken by His Heavenly Father. Jesus, who Himself asked for the cup He had been given to be taken from Him. Jesus, who is the best representation for pure love we have, said:

“Don’t think that I came to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. I have come so that

‘a son will be against his father,
    a daughter will be against her mother,

a daughter-in-law will be against her mother-in-law.
A person’s enemies will be members of his own family.’ Micah 7:6

“Those who love their father or mother more than they love me are not worthy to be my followers. Those who love their son or daughter more than they love me are not worthy to be my followers. Whoever is not willing to carry the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who try to hold on to their lives will give up true life. Those who give up their lives for me will hold on to true life.

~ Matthew 10:34-39

Jesus Himself wept.

Will You Be There by Michael Jackson

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Pop Culture Messiah

A Pop Culture vs. The Bible (Re)Post

by LaShawnda Jones/My God and Me (FB) on Thursday, July 9, 2009 at 7:58pm ·

I was a doubter. Not that I exactly believed Michael Jackson molested a child. More specifically, I believe human beings are capable of anything. I wanted to believe in Michael’s innocence, but he didn’t adequately defend himself. He paid money to make a situation go away. Only, money invited more such situations. On the other hand, when the accuser’s parents accepted cash as payment for their child’s allegedly stolen innocence, I then doubted their claims more than I doubted Michael.  Oh, what a tangled web we weave….

Yes, I was a doubter. Until the day he died. From that day on, all I can remember is his message of love, his cry for help, his screams of anguish. I remember how his words have always reverberated through me, reaching to the depths of my soul and vibrating across the width of my spirit. I was a doubter until he breathed his last and I realized even death could not extinguish his light.

I no longer doubt Michael Jackson’s innocence. One thing I know for sure is evil and love cannot co-exist. God is love. And Michael Jackson’s existence was an expression of love. His talents were used to sow love around the world, he reached corners were Jesus isn’t known. Even though he may not have stayed here long enough to reap the harvest of his labor, I am confident he will be graced with his eternal reward.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. – 1John 4:7-12

We know that God sends messengers and scouts, He sends us soldiers and prophets. Two thousand years ago He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ. After Jesus, God sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within us. His indwelling Spirit works to call His children closer to Him. Those who choose to obey His call have their talents activated and magnified for His glorification and are sent forth into the world as light-bearers, truth-sayers, love-doers, performers of His Word and servants of His will.

Perhaps, like many others, the story of Michael Jackson’s life and his cultural significance is hard to appreciate from the viewpoint of his deep valley’s. Similarly, we as individuals have difficulty seeing our significance from our own low points. I am guilty of growing weary. I am guilty of focusing on the ugly scars and errors in judgment received from falls and fatigue. Like every person born since Adam, I am guilty and will forever fall short of the glorious perfection of God and Christ Jesus. But that won’t stop me from being the most wonderful servant of God the world has yet to see. Lack of perfection will not deter me from being a marvelous representation of my Father. I will not falter in my quest to continuously evolve my character into a mirror-image of my Creator.

Change, growth and evolution – they all hurt. They aren’t easy. We witnessed all three in Michael Jackson’s life and career. We didn’t like the look or sound of his change, growth or evolution sometimes, but we certainly saw it. We didn’t understand it, but we definitely felt it. Many of us never spent a moment in his physical presence, but our lives have always been surrounded by his music. To know his music is to know him. His music told us who he was – his music was a healing agent for those in pain and fighting disease; it told us of his love for the hungry and needy. His music spoke of memories, wishes, and prayers; it put his heart in direct communication with our hearts. That is why we love Michael Jackson…. I love Michael Jackson because of his words.

How powerful is a word?

God created the world with a word. “And God said… and it was so.” Genesis 1:3-30

Jesus healed with His word. ”Lord… only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.” Matt 8:8

We bind ourselves to our life partners with two words: “Do you take this man or woman… I do.”

We are instructed to “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:19-20

Words are life. They have power. “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

So, no, Michael Jackson wasn’t just an entertainer. He wasn’t just a pop star. He wasn’t just a sad, confused human being. He was one of God’s messengers. His message was one of hope, love, peace and unity. That’s scripture. His music was rooted deep in biblical principles. I didn’t see or appreciate that song by song, album by album or year by year. But it’s something I can’t miss looking back over his life and musical catalog since his death.

God’s hand was all up and through Michael’s life. He was holding him, guiding him and speaking through him. I can understand how Michael may have sometimes felt bereft of that comfort, he had far too many people and distractions clamoring around him causing him to stumble. But even in his imperfection he was the best Michael Joseph Jackson ever. He was an awesome steward of his talents. He was a loving and hospitable ambassador of biblical principles. His colossal global renown suggests some obedience to God’s plan for his life. I give thanks for the technology that keeps his voice as clean and clear as the day he first laid the tracks. I give thanks that we haven’t lost him, we won’t forget him and more people will come to love him for his message. Sometimes we don’t notice the little flickering lights in our own lives until a stunningly bright star falls from the sky.

Hold me, like the River Jordan and I will then say to thee, You are my Friend.
Carry me, like you are my brother. Love me like a mother. Will you be there?
But they told me, a man should be faithful and walk when not able and fight till the end, but I’m only Human!
Everyone’s taking control of me. Seems like the world’s got a role for me. I’m so confused, will you show to me, you’ll be there for me and care enough to bear me?

I’m starting with the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways. And no message could’ve been any clearer. If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and make a change!

We are the world. We are the children. We are the ones who make a better place so let’s start giving. There’s a choice we’re making. We’re saving our own lives. It’s true we’re make a better day, just you and me.

Heal the world. Make it a better place… for you and for me and the entire human race.

Michael Jackson’s Memorial Service Booklet (pictured above)


Other Pop Culture vs. The Bible Posts

Whitney Houston & The Greatest Love of All
Amy Winehouse: When did she live?
Things Charlie Sheen Has Taught Me
For the Sake of His Praise