Thursday, February 16, 2012

How Whitney Fits in to my Bigger Picture

File:WhitneyHouston BodyguardTourUK1993.jpg
 I have been to two real concerts in my life.
I'm 51, so that's saying something.
My husband took me to see Whitney in Paris
{don't get too excited, that's where we lived at the time}
in November of 1993.
It was the Bodyguard tour.
She was at her best.

As I was walking this morning, I was thinking about her.
Praying for her daughter.
Turning this tragedy over and over in my mind.
Wondering if I had an opinion about it all.
On the one hand, there's no excuse for the excesses in her life.
On the other hand, what a gift.
And what do I really know about what it took to "be" her.

And I thought about a passage in the Gospel of John where religious people
drug a {probably} half naked prostitute before Jesus.
For judgement.
To make a point.
For punishment.
Then the parallel dawned on me - how utterly and totally humiliating.
To die alone and naked
and to be dragged before the world
to be judged.
And I thought of Jesus' heart towards the prostitute -
a heart to love her, to see her as a person and not an object.
Or an object lesson.
His gift to her that day was one of grace.
And, with that, he also asks her to walk away from her way of life.

But it was his lesson for the crowd that struck my heart today.
To the crowd watching this,
and to the religious leaders that drug her there,
Jesus simply says,
"Let any of you who is without sin
be the first to throw a stone at her."
And that's my lesson for today.
Let me not throw any stones.
In my mind.
With my mouth.
In my heart.
I found myself wishing that Jesus would silence today's crowd.
The hungry crowd that's watching and waiting.
That we would all examine ourselves,
stop pointing fingers and criticizing someone elses life... 
and just walk away from the

I'll cherish her music and the fact that I got to see her in concert.
The big notes,
the beautiful performances.
But what's got my heart this morning,
is the scene from Bodyguard
where she's sitting alone, quietly outside on a snowy day
Jesus Loves Me.

Linking up with the Bigger Picture Blogs
at Jade's today

Mama's Losin' It
And with Mama Kat's
for the Writer's Workshop


  1. For me, it was when she sang "One Moment In Time"....the Olympics that year stand out in my memory due to that song.

  2. A beautiful woman, a beautiful talent, a beautiful tribute to her. I have to say, my mind has been wandering back a lot to her too. God bless her, and may she rest in peace.


  3. This is a nice tribute. I wish there were some way to share this with her family. I'll bet they'd appreciate your words. At any rate, the gift of her voice and the caution given to us in her life have to be taken together -- such a mix of sadness and joy. You said it so well here.

  4. This is lovely, such touching, meaningful words. I like how the scripture passages you chose fit so well in this instance. I am still so sad, so...I can't really explain it. Shocked? Not necessarily. Just filled with an unimaginable despair for the loss and for her family.

  5. That scene be-stills my heart as well. I loved that movie. Even though it was average at best, it was so full of passion.

    I believe in her passion. And I also believe in God's passion for us. Who are we to judge (PS. you plucked my favorite verse in the bible) ... It is only God's right to judge. We are glorified in Him, and through him.

    Let him be the judge, as you say.

    Great bigger picture.

    Did you like living in Paris?

  6. This was such a wonderful piece ... so well worded, so compelling and so full of grace and truth. Really, really glad to have read it today. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

  7. Beautiful, lovely and touching post. The passage of scripture is perfect for this moment. Thank you for this.

  8. Love this. So sad about her death and I keep thinking about her mother and her daughter. Heartbreaking !

  9. This was the single best reflection on Whitney Houston's death I've read. I was judging her...and now I'm not.

    Thank you for teaching me something.

  10. I am SO glad to see this! I don't have a soft spot for Whitney, though she was undeniably super talented. But I DO have a soft spot for people not being seen as 'object lessons' as you put it so gracefully.

    What would the world be like, I wonder, if we stopped trying to step on others' tragedies as a means to propelling ourselves into higher esteem? What if we all only tried to LOVE one another instead of judge?

    Wonderful post today!

  11. Yes, yes and yes! Whitney's voice was amazing. People are being especially cruel with the jokes right now, which is much easier than mourning the loss of life.

  12. SOOOO good!!! I just loved her, and what a beautiful time and place to see her in concert! It's really sad how she's been treated after all this has come out, and there's no need for it. Wonderful post, and a beautiful way to shine a light on it :)


  13. I loved that movie too! I remember I used to sing with her in that scene in the snow.

    And I love what you say about judgment. My hope is we all might heed that more often. It gets so complicated too with public figures, because their actions affect us, but we can't have a conversation with them. What feelings we have towards them cannot be resolved as we would with the people more directly in our lives.

    This is a lovely tribute. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  14. Beautifully written, Adrienne.
    One of my favorite hymns is an old one: "Neither Do I Condemn Thee", which is about the event you mentioned.
    Glad you were able to see Whitney when she was at her best.

  15. What a great memory to share with us!

  16. I love how you pointed out she's not an object lesson. This was a great post. We all have our 'issues' some messier or louder than others, but they're there either way.

  17. I love how you found a parallel between what we know and what we think we know. So many times in life we judge before we truly know anything, and as I've always believed those in glass houses shall never throw stones. So, I just celebrate the life and the memories and leave the rest behind. Thank you this is wonderful.

  18. I loved that you saw her at her finest! Wow -- and thank you for the parallel back to that naked, vulnerable woman.

    I can't help but think of this quote, "Every Saint has a past and every sinner has a future."

    She is in His arms now.