Did Whitney find strength in love?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Boy, there are many folks mad at Whitney Houston. Well, maybe not mad at Whitney, but angry about how much attention came with her death.

I saw posts on Facebook that twisted up her passing with the loss of soldiers. It is strange to me how you equate mourning for one person to somehow mean there is not equal sadness at the passing of another.

Yes, there was a lot of coverage of her death, but that was because people tuned in. That doesn’t mean that the majority of people gave more “credit,” as the post said, to a celebrity than to a soldier. It’s kind of like saying if you like apples then it follows that you don’t appreciate the value of oranges.

I wonder, if she died in a plane crash or a car accident or from a bomb while entertaining troops if the same level of upset would exist. It seems the anger is because of the perceived way she lived and she died and the attention that got.

I read one post that said something along the lines of — “so she could sing… she was a dope-head … no different from any other junky.” So, are we not to feel compassion for the junkies? That she struggled with addiction in public does not make it any less sad or make me feel any less compassion for her pain.

I choose to look at it from a different view. Yes, Whitney Houston’s life had its challenges and perhaps her choices were not perfect or at least not what the world judges as perfect, but what life doesn‘t have challenges. Who among us has not made choices that were less than perfect? However, she also possessed an amazing gift — her voice.

In fact, it was her voice one cold morning that lifted me up in the midst of a tough time. My life was a mess. My first marriage was falling apart and I felt powerless and lonely.

One that morning as I drove to a class at LBW, I was low and beating myself up about the state of my life. It was at that moment I turned on the radio and heard Whitney Houston singing these words.

“Everybody is searching for a hero

People need someone to look up to

I never found anyone to fulfill my needs

A lonely place to be

So I learned to depend on me …”

I turned the volume up and it was the beauty of that voice that carried the words into my heart.

“… Because the greatest love of all

Is happening to me

I found the greatest love of all

Inside of me

The greatest love of all

Is easy to achieve

Learning to love yourself

It is the greatest love of all

And if by chance, that special place

That you’ve been dreaming of

Leads you to a lonely place

Find your strength in love”

Those lyrics talked about me loving and trusting me, something that was foreign to me. I know she didn’t write them, but the way Whitney Houston sang those words touched me and helped me when I needed it.

That is why I choose not to judge how she lived or died, but to celebrate her life and appreciate her talent. Even in her death and the coverage it received, there is something positive because all things work to teach us lessons in love. Perhaps it will be a wake-up call for some person struggling with the same challenges she faced. We may never know and that is why we cannot judge.

Yes, Whitney Houston was famous and yes, in the world’s view, flawed, but she was also someone’s child, someone’s sister, someone’s mother, someone’s friend, and carried in her a spark of the divine.

I hope that at last she has found her strength in love.