Michael Jackson, RIP

You know, it is the strangest thing. It is going on a week now that Michael Jackson died. I am surprised by how hard his death has affected me. I am really saddened by his death, almost like something inside of me has died, too. This is honestly unexpected.
I’ve been watching, reading, and listening to everything that has been going on since the announcement. There is, of course, the reporting of his phenomenal talent, but the reaction of people world wide… I’ve heard people say that his music was constantly positive and encouraging and inspiring humanity to make a difference in the world for positive change. This is true. Perhaps, because so many entertainers (particularly in certain genres) are so negative and foul and present to the world the most banal stuff, yet there was Michael Jackson. A New York Times report quoted a industry person saying that they will never be another world-wide rock star with so much appeal and influence and talent as Michael Jackson.
Perhaps it is the tragedy of his life. A childhood that never was and his sometimes bizarre attempts to reclaim it. I can’t imagine what is was like or him – adults from the earliest years doing not much more than manipulating him (and his brothers), lying to him, cheating him, using him, and his father was one of the primary culprits. Perhaps, I am just so sad to see a lost soul with so much talent and so much pain. Perhaps, it is that he was always there during my life and became so significant in times of our lives. Perhaps, I did expect him to die while I’m still around. There are those who hated him.
He had problems, big problems, and he didn’t seem to understand why people did’nt understand him – or perhaps believe him. Whether he really did abuse the boys or whether their parents were just another bunch trying to bleed him dry I don’t know. My suspicion is that he was innocent, but he certainly kept putting himself in situations where people could easily make accusations and exploit his vulnerabilities. Then, all the revelations about is three children that are not really his after all. Not his biological children. The man was messed up, but why? I think, because, of us – people, the public, the exploiters.
So, I downloaded several of his videos. I wanted “Man in the Mirror,” but iTunes doesn’t have it, for some reason. “Cry.” “Scream.” I’m just honestly saddened by his tragic death more than I ever thought I would be.
I wonder whether his death simply brings to mind people that I have been very close to and who are now in terrible situations. Perhaps, his death reminds me that those friends for whom I care terribly could come to the same kind of end. I do fear for them, and wish horribly that they would take the steps needed to make healthy decisions for themselves. I pray for a particular friend constantly. I could see his innocent heart, exploited by others, making terrible decisions and now so messed up, I could see him come to such an end.
Life is so precious, but the “systems of our world” work so hard to destroy the simplicity, trust, faith, and innocence that we have when we are children. Jackson seemed to long desperately for those things. What is left when a culture no longer values them? What happens when we are complicit in their demise?
May his soul find the peace and tranquility he so long sought after. Lord, by your grace and mercy. May we learn something… even a little something.