It seems like every time I watch the Grammys I come away with something new. Last night my wife helped me see the issue this year. It was the Whitney worship. It seems like every other performer had to say something or give some sort of gesture in honor of Whitney Houston who had passed away the night before. Now don’t get me wrong, this woman was an amazing talent. She was deserving of admiration for her talent and her contribution to the music community. But my problem with the whole situation is in regards to her “friends, fans and undying supporters in the music community”. Where were you Saturday night? Where were you five years ago? Ten years ago? When Whitney’s life started spiraling out of control into a void filled with drugs and alcohol, were you there with her? Were you by her side reminding her of her God-given talent or were you right there with the rest of the world making fun of her nonsensical rants and enjoying “the show”? The music community that has watched so many of its’ own talented and aspiring performers die all to young because it s either unwilling or too consumed with its’ own pursuits to step into the lives of their “beloved” stars and intervene. And then when it is too late…well then we will have an overwhelming outpouring of “love” in honor of the person we had been alienating for years.
My real issue is that all to often this is what it looks like within the walls of the church as well. It is much easier to cast aside our own than to get involved in the dirt of people’s lives. When we see someone going off the deep end, rather than outstretch our arms in order to carry them, we sharpen our swords to cut them. Because after all, it isn’t me. Galatians 6:1-2 says, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” The law of Christ? I know of one command that Christ was insistent upon and that was loving each other. So maybe if we really love each other our lives are consumed with bearing each others’ burdens and if one around us stumbles we consume ourselves with their restoration.
I can’t tell you how many times in the church that I have seen us devour our own for sport, envy or even out of apathy…and I am not sure which is worse. And restoring that person? Then we lose our subject of derision. Then we lose our clown. Then we lose Whitney Houston and all of the crazy things she says and all of the tabloid photos of her looking emaciated and hungover. If we restored her then we wouldn’t have her blood on our hands and feel the need to dedicate performances to her in order to relieve the guilt of not stepping in earlier. And what good would that do?