I think we owe you a sincere apology.
When we first bought your cassette tapes so many years ago, we were taken in by your voice. The strength and control of every note and the emotion with which you sang was truly captivating. Your voice was described as “timeless” and “flawless”. You gave us perfection and in return we demanded it from you.
Time after time, you delivered what we wanted. We will never forget when you so effortlessly sang the National Anthem at the Super Bowl in 1991. We watched you receive countless awards and cheered for you as we ascended you to a pedestal among other celebrities we esteem.
Then you gave us The Bodyguard, and you stole our hearts with “I Will Always Love You”. No one could hit those notes like you. We, perhaps prematurely, called you a legend. What a voice. What a heavy burden to bear.
What happened next, only those closest to you would be able to explain and understand…or maybe only God knows. The fame and accolades don’t fill the void like we think they will, so we try other things. We make choices with lasting consequences…destructive relationships, drugs, compromise.
The truth is that this void we have is God-given. He made us with a longing to be great, to be enjoyed, and to make an impact. I think in your heart you knew that, but you became known for what you DID and not for simply being a child of God. Your identity was in your songs and not in the sound God put in you.
So, we watched you unravel. We demanded perfection from the voice that could no longer deliver. We were disgruntled customers who wanted our money back, and I don’t think you ever recovered from that. I’m so sorry.
You see, those of us who like to be entertained did not consider your soul. We did not think about your heart that was obviously broken for a very long time. We could have helped to hold your weary arms up. We are selfish, entitled people, and I’m so sorry. You deserved kindness and mercy and a chance to be free and whole, but we did not love you well.
I’m praying that at this moment you are worshiping the One who is the very definition of Mercy and Love. I am grateful that He delivered me before it was too late, and I hope we can all learn from this to extend kindness and forgiveness in the midst of each other’s failures.