Music for the Heart and Soul
At ten, I stood in front of the mirror singing, word for word, The Greatest Love of All. I felt as if I were live in concert in front of a hundred thousand people - just me, a worn hairbrush, and a pretend audience that included teddy bears, a Barbie and Ken set, and a few critters that had flocked to my bedroom window to hear me crone to the vibes of the likes of the world-renown Whitney Houston. At that moment, I was a star.
Of course, I couldn't hold a note if Stevie Wonder put it in my hand and Jennifer Hudson volunteered to help to hold the note steady in my hand, but that's besides the point. With Whitney's music, a young girl from Tuskegee, Alabama in the 1980s could feel hope. It was with that glimmer of hope, if only for a five-minute track that could be rewound over and over until the tape broke, that a girl was allowed to dream much bigger than her surroundings.
No One is Immune to Struggles
Watching what had become of Whitney Houston over the past fifteen years, with her struggle with drugs, felt like a bad accident waiting to happen, so I turned the channel. Refusing to watch the bad press on a singer that I once had great respect for, her new song, I Look to You, was not given the opportunity to penetrate my soul. I wouldn't allow it. I would only feel sorry for what she had become in the midst of all of the potential that she had for a life that was full.
However, in watching her memorial, one thing was ever so clear. Whitney, in all of her ups and downs, had lived her life to the fullest, held on to hope, and never let go of her Father's hand, the foundation that was planted by God. As the world was condemning her, or in my case not paying attention, in private she prayed and lifted her life up to God for redemption. The pictures plastered all over TV of her drinking and being "erratic" in her last days was a woman attempting to enjoy life, in a way that she knew how. Yes, a woman, but most importantly a human, searching for joy in what are now known to be her final days.
Hopeful Music Today
A great singer is not one that will sing to catchy music and beats, or even one that can reach the highest note, but it is one that naturally and without effort reach down into your spirit and stir. I've only experienced a few new singers with as much talent in the last decade that can do this: R. Kelly, Jennifer Hudson, and of course Whitney Houston, to name a few. I sure hope for the sake of the love of music, hope, and soul that another soul-stirrer will be born soon.Until then, I'll be waiting...