Judge not.

 

On such a special day of the year – a date that only comes every four years, I thought of posting positive, heartwarming message how my life is progressing at the moment. However, a nagging thought continued to persist on my mind, and I thought I should get this out in the open and perhaps post another one later.

When Whitney Houston passed away on February 11, 2012, it was quite a ‘coincidence’ that I came across an article on the Daily Mail in the UK on the previous night. The paparazzi snapped some pictures showing her looking dishevelled and drunk outside a club somewhere. So when the next day came the news that she had passed away, I had already come to a judgment that she brought it upon herself – maybe her drugging days caused her to deliberately end her life early. There was also the nagging uneasiness of her so freely talking about God and Jesus, and yet her lifestyle seemed to go contrary to her beliefs. When everybody posted messages of “RIP Whitney” and I couldn’t bring myself to write those words as I thought surely if you committed suicide, you wouldn’t rest “in peace”. I only wrote that at least her demons were hushed for the final time. It was wrong for me to come to a judgment without knowing all of the facts.

I grew up with Whitney’s songs and had also outgrown her songs when I don’t listen to sugary pop ballads anymore. In my tutorials at uni last year, to illustrate growing brands and dying brands, I even jokingly told my students that Whitney was a ‘dying brand’ because although people respected her talents, nobody listened to her songs anymore.

However, one of the songs that was meant to be her comeback in 2009, I Look to You started to resonate with me after her death. It’s a song of helplessness and near-defeat and yet a moment of surrender, like somebody with both his arms up, looking for help from above. (“I look up to the mountains, does my help come from there? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth!” – Psalm 121:1-2 (NLT)). I realised that I shouldn’t have judged her nor her life – she made a lot of mistakes and maybe she couldn’t reconcile her faith with what she ended up doing (“Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” – Matthew 26:41 (NLT)). Who am I to judge her whether she was ultimately a failure or not?

We all have an image of ourselves to be more righteous than what we actually are – even if we don’t believe in God or subscribe to any religion, we think that we are doing better than we actually are. We fail to see our own weaknesses and the frailties and yet we are quick to judge and criticise others, like Whitney Houston. I know that I have my own battles to fight, it’s hard reconciling my faith (or personal values, if you wish – if this word irritates you) with what I actually do. Her passing is another lesson for me not to judge others for their failures or successes – God is the only one who can judge my actions and my life one day.

Rest in Peace, Whitney.

 

Do Not Judge Others

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others.The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

Matthew 7:1-5 (NLT)

 

 

I Look to You

(R. Kelly)

As I lay me down
Heaven hear me now
I’m lost without a cause
After giving it my all

Winter storms have come
And darkened my sun
After all that I’ve been through
Who on earth can I turn to?

I look to you, I look to you
After all my strength is gone
In you I can be strong
I look to you, I look to you
And when melodies are gone
In you I hear a song, I look to you

About to lose my breath
There’s no more fighting left
Sinking to rise no more
Searching for that open door

And every road that I’ve taken
Led to my regret
And I don’t know if I’m gonna make it
Nothing to do but lift my head

I look to you, I look to you
And when all my strength is gone
In you I can be strong
I look to you, I look to you
And when melodies are gone
In you I hear a song, I look to you

My levee’s have broken, my walls have come
Crumbling down on me
The rain is falling, defeat is calling
I need you to set me free
Take me far away from the battle
I need you, shine on me

I look to you, I look to you
After all my strength has gone
In you I can be strong
I look to you, I look to you
And when melodies are gone
In you I hear a song, I look to you

 


Published by fuzz

I've finally relented to the lures of blogging - and for those who care, well, I'm a self-confessed geek who's a wanderer at heart, who thinks and analyses too much, and who's trying hard to hold on to his 7-year old inner persona.

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing, Arry.

    I too grew up listening to Whitney Houston’s hits. I agreed with those who called her ‘The Voice’. I listened to ‘I look to You’ many times too (only after she died). It struck me that the lyrics included the lines “Sinking to rise no more” (she was found dead under water in her the bathtub) and “I don’t know if I’m gonna make it”.

    I watched all 4 hours of her funeral live on TV. By all accounts she grew up to become a ‘diva’ but always remained a very generous woman who took care of all her family and friends with the riches that came her way. She shared what she had. Kevin Costner’s eulogy was beautiful because he revealed a real person with frailties and not just a star. It was a heartbreaking moment when they carried her coffin away, with her voice alone singing “I will always love you” in the background. I read later that her mum, walking behind the coffin, held up on either side, wailed “My baby! My baby!” as she followed the casket. I also read somewhere that the funeral programme included a letter from Cissy Houston that said that when Whitney was born, the Holy Spirit told told her that “She wouldn’t have Whitney for long”. One can only imagine her heartbreak to watch her daughter spiral downwards with her addiction, and remembering those words. Whitney shared with Oprah during an interview that her Mum came armed with an intervention order to help her.

    I’m currently reading a book called ‘His Healing Power’ by a lady called Lilian B. Yeomans who was also medical doctor. In it she outlines she journey of being addicted to morphine for years, trying all natural means to find deliverance. She shared that only supernatural deliverance could free her from the affliction, which she describes as a spiritual battle with real demonic powers.

    I too am slowly understanding what it really means to “judge not”. I realised how quick I am to judge by outward appearance of things and been it’s a daily journey of seeking to see through the eyes of Him who alone sees the heart. Thank God for Grace!

    He who hands out the talents and gifts also says that each one of our days are written in His book. So I thank God for the life of Whitney Houston. I truly enjoyed her gift.

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