The Michael in Me
Last night at the BET music awards Jaime Foxx said, “We want to celebrate this black man. He belongs to us and we shared him with everybody else.” But did MJ really belong?
The death of Michael Jackson actually made me turn on my television after probably weeks of having no interaction with the tube other than an occasional glance at some much needed dusting. I’d been in study mode all day Thursday, June 25th and hadn’t even stopped to check my nytimes homepage, and so I heard about both Farrah & Michael all at once some time between 9 and 10pm. Two individuals both remembered for their broad reaching and lasting effect on pop culture. One we praised for her beauty, while the other we ridiculed as he transformed into a quasi-beast.
Looking at the lives of these two individuals, there are stark contrasts to be noted. We can see how childhood experiences and relationships stain the psyche and can have detrimental effects later on in life during young adulthood. When we look back at the life of Michael Jackson, we’re quick to say “What happened??” But whether you deny “more-than-just a nose job” each Sabbath you mask-up before heading to church, or whether you build your own Neverland as an overcompensation for even the subtle traumas of your childhood – you look just like him.
It’s an understatement to suggest Michael had identity issues, and perhaps he lost his way or like Farrah, found himself living in a body he no longer knew. Whether you have something eating away at your core like a cancerous deathbed, or you’re paranoid about unattractive extremities – there’s a little of Michael in all of us – and I’m not just talking about your Thriller record. It’s that thing that makes you doubt you’re anything less than “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13-14). It’s that thing that makes you forget “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” (Jeremiah 1:5).
We all have imperfections. We live in an imperfect world.
Our created purpose is to let God’s light shine through every facet of our being, expressing his colors and beauty through us in ways no one else can.
If you look at a ring under the microscope every day and become intimately familiar with every flaw, you might be embarrassed by it. But that is not how God meant the beauty of diamonds to be seen. The beauty of a diamond is seen when someone holds it up in the sunlight and everyone can see it sparkle.
We are created to shine with the light of God’s creative genius. When you appreciate yourself in all your uniqueness, you will dare to hold your life up to the light. You will dare to live out the beauty you were created to express . . . cleaned and polished with the forgiveness of God.
– Connie Neal, Devotional Thought on Beauty, God’s Words of Life
That’s why whether we sit at the Asian table or the with the jocks table in the cafeteria, we must “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15:7). Let’s get it right before the next guy dies.
Cause, that’s something worth celebrating.