I must admit, when I first heard I had mixed feelings. I’ve never met him. I’ve never been to one of his concerts and at the time I didn’t even own one of his albums, yet he has been part of my life right from a young age. Every Saturday morning I’d watch the ‘Jackson 5‘ strut their stuff on TV. When Michael performed ‘Billy Jean‘ at the 1983 Motown 25 Concert, I remember the very next day wearing a single white glove to school to show my dedication as a fan and not to mention my extreme ‘coolness’. Then there’s the hours spent alone in my room practicing the ‘moonwalk‘ and imagining that moment in time when I, the geekiest guy in school, get to show off my super cool dance moves while my fellow students look on in awe.
I did get to meet Michael’s brother, Jermaine Jackson, about 20 years ago. We chatted for a little while while I cleaned his hotel room. But that’s about it.
Since his passing, there has been a lot said about Michael, some good and some not so good. His life was riddled with controversy. People have had mixed reactions to his death. There is a church group in America claiming to represent God called Westboro Baptist Church. They released a press statement the day Michael died saying that God was behind the heart attack which killed Jackson and ‘praised God’ that he was now in hell!
I visited their website and it made me ill. How can people who call themselves Christians represent God that way? Does He really hate people? The people at Westboro Church seem to think so. They target gays, those in the military, prostitutes, and even Joyce Meyer gets a mention! They picket the funerals of soldiers killed in the line of duty, shouting out their message of hate and retribution for grieving widows and children to hear. They hold up placards on busy street corners saying "God hates fags!" According to their beliefs, I’m sure God hates me as well for for even suggesting they might be misled.
But as I read through the Bible I see a very different picture of God.
Jesus got into a boat and sailed across the Sea of Galilee. He was exhausted. He travelled through a hurricane. He had to deal with disbelieving disciples. He arrived and met a demon possessed guy. Healed him. Then got back into the boat and sailed straight back to the other side.
Jesus went through all of that just for one man!
One man who society rejected. One man lost in a helpless situation. One man who He loved.
You can’t tell me that God doesn’t love people.
Regardless of the life he lived, the choices he made, Michael Jackson was someone dearly loved by Almighty God. No matter how much the people at Westboro Baptist Church protest, they can never change that.