Saturday, February 11, 2012


I remember when I first saw this video. It was during my single days right before I got married to Sarah. I would sometimes sit at home and watch VH1 back when it still played music videos and didn't have all of the stuff it has on it now. There were some good songs that played back then. I remember that it brought me to tears even then. This was long before I ever dreamed of working with the low income folks here in Livingston. But, for some reason, I still had a heart for the less fortunate or folks that were down and out. I know that many of the problems that low income folks face are of their own doing. The projects are full of alcohol, drugs and promiscuous sex.

Many folks have an attitude of "Why should I help them? They got themselves into their own mess. They can get out of it." I can't really blame folks for thinking that way. I've often felt the same way.  Many times, however, I've caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and it dawned on me that I'm not really that different than the folks in the projects. How many mistakes have I made? How many messes have I gotten myself into that, if not for the Grace of God, could have turned out a lot worse than they are.

I'm reminded of the Christian singer that was lambasted by a famous evangelist because the beat of her music was a little too rocky for his tastes. Soon afterward he was caught having an affair. A reporter asked the Christian singer what she thought. He was hoping to get a juicy piece where she got her revenge. Instead she simply answered "By the Grace of God it wasn't me (that fell into the same sin)."

I don't know what caused the death of Whitney Houston today. It could very well be because of drugs or alcohol or the effects that those things had on her body from earlier years of abuse. Already there is talk on Facebook and comments such as "It's terrible but I'm not surprised." I also know, though, that despite the drug and alcohol abuse Whitney Houston did a lot of good for a lot of people. The movies that she made and the songs she sang were always full of hope. I also know that she was raised in the church. I hope and pray that she did indeed come to a personal relationship with the Lord.

Many will judge Whitney Houston by the mistakes that she made. I am no champion of Whitney Houston. I don't own any of her albums or movies. I am well aware of her past. But, I choose to not look at the speck that is in someone's eye when there might be a log in my own (Matthew 7:3-5). I choose to hope and pray that the songs and movies that she did will continue to inspire and work miracles in others lives just as, many years ago, this song moved me to look differently at others.

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