Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ode to Michael Jackson

As I watched news footage of Michael Jackson's family arriving at the courthouse where Dr. Conrad Murray begins his trial for involuntary manslaughter of the late music icon, my heart nearly burst from my chest. I knew I had to write about this. So today I'm posting my second blog of the day, something I've never done before.

Let me begin, first of all, with saying what this post will not be. It will not be a theological discussion of where Michael Jackson went when he passed away. I choose not to do God's job of determining the condition of another person's spiritual state. I personally think God does a great job of that all by Himself. (Although, can you just imagine the beauty of Michael Jackson's music in heaven? And the moonwalk on those streets of gold? Amazing...)

I also have no intention of discussing the "reality television" buzz of who's who at the trial. I've heard huge names mentioned of people that will take the witness stand or attend the trial. Honestly, I'm much more concerned that a fair trial is held and that justice is served.

And lastly, I don't seek to demonize the physician for his actions. He has unfortunately already stood trial in the media and the culture. Many of us loved Michael Jackson, and we want to see someone pay for his death. Instead let's pray for a true balance of justice and mercy in this trial.

So... what I do want to do is highlight one of Michael Jackson's songs that speaks volumes to us even today. I've always said that "Man In The Mirror" could preach. To find the origins of this song we've got to look to the late Mahatma Gandhi, the advocate of nonviolent social protest, who led the struggle for India's independence from British colonial rule. Gandhi pioneered other nonviolent movements in history, such as the Civil Rights Movement, led by Martin Luther King, Jr. Gandhi's most memorable quote, which inspired "Man In The Mirror," is simply put:
Be the change you want to see in the world.
And that's the message I think we need to focus on as we remember Michael Jackson. We have to stop pointing our fingers at the government, at our neighbors, at our churches and point those fingers back at ourselves. What are you doing to make a positive difference in our world? What am I doing? Is it enough?
I leave you with some lyrics from the late Michael Jackson. I'll only highlight a few, pulling lines that I think speak loudest. I think you'll agree these words ring as true today as they did when they were written.

I'm gonna make a change
For once in my life
It's gonna feel real good
Gonna make a difference
Gonna make it right

I see the kids in the street
With not enough to eat
Who am I, to be blind?
Pretending not to see their needs

I've been a victim of a selfish kind of love
It's time that I realize
There there are some with no home
Not a nickel to loan
Could it be really me
Pretending that they're not alone?

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make a change

I'm starting with the woman in the mirror. How about you?


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