So, the king of pop, Michael Jackson has died. It's big news in the Santos house. He was such a big part of our teen years and for Mr. Santos, Michael Jackson's death is a little like Princess Diana's death was for me. What a shock. We shake our head and say, 'Wow'.
Yet, as we get older and every year meet with more and more death, it becomes a reality that creeps closer to our own door.
Mr. Santos was listening to some of Jackson's old songs online - you know, all the one's we heard growing up. Beat it, beat it - da da da da da da - Beat it. I was in the kitchen washing the dishes and I couldn't help dancing around a bit. I was smiling as I listened. The children were so curious. Little Naomi sat on Dad's lap and watched the video with him. Noah was enthralled with the beat and Sophia just watched us all. She came up to me in the kitchen.
"Mom, you're smiling. Do you like this song?"
"No, not really. It just makes me remember a different time in my life." I had to really think about why I was smiling.
"What time, Mom? What time in your life?"
Big sighs. My children had never even heard of Michael Jackson until yesterday. They had never heard any of his music. They have never been a part of worshipping a fellow human being. But I have.
I used to go to concerts all the time. I would drive for hours to see the Cranberries or Ten Thousand Maniacs play. I worshipped Bono in U2. It was thrilling for me to be in the auditorium with 60,000 other people, holding my lighter high and swaying to his music. I used to read People Magazine and stay up on all the news about "my people." My best friends were musicians - MALE musicians. A tingle of dread creeps up my spine just remembering. I lived a life that I would never hope for my own girls.
I was playing with fire. Temptations were all around me to engage more in the world. I sat on the edge with my feet in the water so eager to jump in all the way. Yikes, I was a fool - Thirsty for something - Hungry for something. But, God in his mercy, would not allow it. He preserved me. I have a tattoo I wish I never got. I have regrets. Even now, I remember all the words to the music I used to listen to. When I hear them in the grocery store I am automatically drawn back to another time.
"But Mom, didn't you know the Lord?" Sophia wonders.
That is the worst part. Like the Israelites in the dessert, I carried around my idols while following the Lord. And just like the Israelites, I was getting nowhere.
But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. 2 Thess 3:3
Once, I was sitting in the living room of my friend's house - an unprotected and foolish young girl with two men. We were listening to music, eating food, and being "enlightened" by our conversation of the latest novels we were reading. There was a brief moment of silence and quietly, from somewhere far away, I heard a different song. It came closer and got louder and louder.
"Do you hear that?"
The men I was with shook their heads. "Hear what? - just the CD."
The sound came from deep within my soul. Gently, the familiar tune played, for my ears alone, 'Great is thy Faithfulness'. My God, always faithful was drawing me unto Himself. I pushed the sound away. Thankfully, he persisted. How he loves me. How he loves you and me. Thank you, Lord.
I was just reading this morning "There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength...Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him...to deliver their soul from death." Psalm 33:16-18 So, the king of pop has died. But the KING of Kings lives.
...choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15
The Israelites chose God, but there was more that they had to do. They couldn't choose God and keep dangling their feet in the water like I did.
Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel. Joshua 24:23