I've said it before, but the news of Whitney Houston's death hit me hard for some reason. She was one of those you always wanted to see recover, you always wanted to see a comeback. Recently I had found some old mixed CD's from college. I like lots of different kids of music, this one had Gospel written across it in Sharpie. When I put it in, it has all sorts of singers, Dolly to Destiny's Child, but one of my favorites on the CD is Whitney and CeCe Winans.
I've always known Whitney had some background in gospel and that she was friends with the Winans, but I didn't know the extent of her faith and the faith of those close to her until her funeral today. I hadn't intended on watching it, but I happened across it and I'm so glad I did. To hear her family and friends talk about her and to see their faith was inspiring. It really was a going home celebration rather than a funeral.
I've seen so many knocking her and talking about how we shouldn't be celebrating an addict. I understand where they are coming from, but this situation has made me think. Whitney had demons, public demons, but don't we all have demons? Ours may not be as public, but do we say, let's not celebrate that life because she was a gossiper, or let's not celebrate that life because she was a glutton? Today's service was not about celebrating drug addiction, but really, to me, it seemed about celebrating a great God, a God who is good, a God who loves us. Almost every speaker spoke about Whitney's faith, about how she spoke about God's love. It was in her, part of her everyday vocabulary. Wow. How many of us want that to be our legacy?
If you didn't watch, you can't understand what I saw as the magnitude of what I watched, but a sermon was given, celebrities talked and sang about God's love, and a much loved woman was honored for her love of God and her tattered and highlighted Bible. I think I'm so jaded on Hollywood. We rarely see Christ talked about from celebrities. We rarely see scripture quoted by celebrites. We rarely see God glorified by celebrities. But I did today, and it was refreshing.
I know her mother had initially wanted the service private, which would have been completely understandable, but, wow, letting the world view what happened in that church today, that was completely unselfish, wanting the Word spread, and showing love for others. And as Whitney was described today, I think that is just what she would have wanted.