Michael Jackson identifies with us

An article which I wrote for the local paper which will be appearing as a ‘Saturday Thought’ on 3rd August:

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michael-jackson-p01Much recent media attention has been focussed on Michael Jackson and his untimely death, the exact causes of which are still unknown. Whatever you thought of his changing appearance, habits and lifestyle, Jackson will certainly be remembered most for his mastery of pop music and production.

Whilst his music took pop to another level, his lyrics explored aspects of human experience that we can all relate to, but may find hard to articulate. Many of his songs talked about hopes and longings that are common to most of us. In ‘You Are Not Alone,’ Jackson longs for an everlasting unending love. ‘Billie Jean’ is the story of a young man following his heart against the advice of his head. And ‘Man in the Mirror’, describes someone who realises that he has been living selfishly and who wants to change himself in order to make the world a better place.

These themes resonate with us because they describe fundamental longings which all of us have – a longing that we are loved, a sense of equality and justice, and often, a sense that we are not good enough or have failed at something and need to change. At the end of the day, despite success, fame and money, Jackson was a lonely figure who seemed to spend his life seeking to fill an emptiness or reclaim something that was lost to him.

These feelings are common to us all because they were put there by God. The 5th century thinker, St. Augustine of Hippo wrote:

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

Until we come to God, we will be constantly longing for these things.

Speaking of this, Jesus said:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)

What a joy it is to know that what we seek most in life is within our reach through Jesus Christ!

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