Scripture Reading: John 14:1-6
John 14 (NIV)
Jesus Comforts His Disciples1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Jesus the Way to the Father5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
"Stand" by Donnie McCurklin
"God Sent me an Angel" Alicia Keys
"Ribbon in the Sky" +1 Stevie Wonder
"Tomorrow" by the Winans. This seemed impromptu and is probably one of my all time favorite church songs. I remember a white girl named Bonnie singing this in a talent show at Craigmont. Her voice was amazing, like maybe she should be on "The Voice". Bonnie was going thru when she sung this song. Like I said, she's white but she decided to get extensions (braids). They looked darned good on her but talking about an experience to show you who your friends really are. I think Bonnie puts some of the emotions of "Tomorrow" into it for me. I don't know how much I believe it lyrically now, but I sure do love it. And really, we do need to stop putting off living until tomorrow; tomorrow may never get here.
T.D. Jakes admitted to not knowing her as well as many people there. He was a preacher.
Tyler Perry's words were great. "Preach!" as some say. He talked about Whitney encouraging herself even while telling him about the tough spots in her life. He said she would get to a point where he thought he'd say something encouraging, but then Whitney would say something like, "But God," or "But my Lord & Savior" His words were truly beautiful. This was an early conversation he had with her. He was surprised by how candid she was about her life. He said this talk, her reaction to it all, is what made him decide that he would always be in Whitney's corner.
Kevin Costner's speech was very sweet, personal. It talked a lot about Whitney not being sure that she was good enough, despite her beauty and talent. He really illustrated her vulnerability.
The interesting thing about Clive Davis' speech for me is that it reminds me of friendships of my own. How many of you I have gotten to know through music. And I'm not even talented :).
Matthew 6:25 was the Scripture used for the eulogy. Message Title: "Prioritize."
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
There were beautiful aspects of the funeral that reminded me of the home going of a decorated soldier/seaman, et cetera. After the pallbearers faced each other then made sharp turns at the casket to get their appointed spot, they lifted the casket then made a point to hoist it above their shoulders. It reminded me of how one might hold up a baby before the Kingdom to show them the beauty that God has given (or Michael Jackson). It was beautiful. They played her singing "I Will Always Love You" at the end. Very few people, if any, can compare to her in singing that song. Dolly Pardon did it first but Whitney stole it. The funeral started at noon EST and ended around 3:30 or 3:45pm. It was held at her home Baptist Church in Newark, NJ.
Rest in Peace, Whitney. Many celebrities have used your death to tell fans/the public to (1) appreciate celebrities. love them regardless. they are people too. and with that, (2) stop being so hard on celebrity figures.
Listening to that message during the service, it reminded me of an episode of South Park in which the children taunt and then try to protect Brittney Spears. They learn that really, there's a grand plan in which society picks a young, beautiful talent, they adore them for years, then they kill them (through paparazzi and fan obsessed means). That message really did seem to come up repeatedly as Whitney is being mourned. One person stated, "She gave her life for ya'll.... Celebrities really do. They go and perform instead of being with their families," but it's the first clause that really resonated for me. Whitney gave her life for the world. wow. What a different outcome she may have had if not for stardom, but what a void if she hadn't pursued music at such. It is what it is, I suppose. May humanity learn to be better in the aftermath of this loss.