Saturday, November 17, 2012
Watching "We Will Always Love You; A Grammy Salute To Whitney Houston" I am moved to tears, hearing her music - listening to the tributes - the renditions ... but also reminded of how Whitney touched me as a young girl and as a young woman. Just as she touched so many people around the world.
I am also reminded that God touches many. But we must never - ever take His blessings for granted. Whitney's story is a fantastic story with a tragic ending. In truth it ended long before she died. And that is the true tragedy.
This beautiful, talented, God-gifted woman with the voice of an angel, was given so much ... she had the ability to grip her audience in ways few can do. Each and every time she opened her mouth in song, people were brought to their knees. Whether she preformed on the Grammy stage or singing the Star Spangled Banner before millions - the hairs on your arms stood up ... your eyes welled ... your heart pounded ... and you were moved!
Who can forget Whitney's rolls in The Preacher's Wife, Waiting To Exhale and The Bodyguard? With her final performance on the big screen in the movie Sparkle. She not only preformed on stage but also recorded the soundtracks to our lives.
In life - in every life ... whether you live on the streets or you have a gold star on the streets - you are given choices .. many twists and turns ... fork roads, some of which you can some back from - have that do-over. And some of which you simply will never be able to come back from Never again be the same.
Unfortunately Whitney found herself on the wrong path. The path of drug abuse, which ultimately stole the golden voice we all grew up loving. And after many, many years of self-abuse by the hands of drugs - by the time Whitney found the courage to attempt a return ... it was too late. Her voice - her beautiful - God given voice ... was gone.
In my opinion ... following her failed return to the success she had enjoyed for so many precious years ... decades really - when you consider that she sang as a child in the church - long before we ever had heard of her. Before our ears were blessed by her song. I believe it was truly soul crushing to Whitney. I believe she knew - it was over. And I think like many celebrities who grow accustomed to the limelight - and assume it will always be there. Assume that actions in human life will not null and void the gifts of our Lord. That you can take for granted what is given ... and it will be as though it never happened.
Sometimes that is true. But I believe that the bigger the gift - the bigger the responsibility of guarding, protecting and cherishing that gift. Whitney's gift was immense. The truth is that when she attempted to return ... she still sang better than many could ever hope to. But - she would never again be the "Whitney" she once was. And in my heart I believe that her realized reality would ultimately lead to her demise.
We can take many lessons from Whitney's life. To go after our dreams. To sing like nobody is watching. To love unconditionally. To cherish our children. But also not to take for granted the gifts we are given from God.
Whitney was a child, a mother, a sister, a singer, an actress ... and most of all a human being. Making human judgments, susceptible to temptations ... and as we all know - all humans are capable of grave errors in life.
I suppose the biggest lesson we can learn from the life of Whitney is as simple as this; While we inhale blessings - we must not forget to exhale gratitude.
And I am thankful for the gift that Whitney Houston was to my life.
May she rest ... and may she know the peace in Heaven that she was unable to secure in life.