The world was shocked this past Saturday evening with the news of the sudden death of Whitney Houston. She was a superstar and singer, second to no one. Her gift and talent was exceptional and undeniable. So much of her music, "The Greatest Love of All", "I Will Always Love You", "I'm Every Woman", "Count On Me" with CeCe Winans, her rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the 1991 NFL Super Bowl two weeks into Desert Storm and more recently, "I Look To You", were songs that touched you in a place that could only be expressed with your head "bopping to the beat", closed eyes and a smile. And how can I not mentioned her gospel songs on the soundtrack of the movie, "The Preacher's Wife"? Her version of Richard Smallwood's "I Love The Lord" is a classic. She definitely set the standard for vocalists belonging to Generation X and beyond and lovingly many of them call her their mentor.
Over the last several years, we have all watched media reports, shows and interviews showing Whitney struggling in her personal life. However, in a recent recent message on Twitter/Facebook accompanying a posting of one of her songs (I post inspirational songs on Twitter at @womenatliberty and Women History Makers-DC, MD & VA on Saturday mornings every week), I was led to pray that God would keep Whitney. I included words of that nature in the posting. Like many of you, I wanted her to survive, to come back, overcome, and grow old gracefully. Sadly, we will never know an aged Whitney Houston.
So now as we celebrate her life and the gift that she possessed, we pray for the comfort of her daughter, mother, brother, family and friends. Also, I hope that her untimely death causes us to think about the people around us. There are people who need and deserve our help. Reach out in love and sincerity. People know when you really care. You can't really help someone unless you care. If nothing else, pray earnestly for them and the people that are around them. Unfortunately, we will encounter people that mean us no good. We must pray for discernment and courage to send those people on their way!
Her last impromptu performance with Kelly Price of "Yes, Jesus Loves Me" was so poignant for me. This simple, but powerful song that she had learned as a child in church, was a tremendous and lasting message to leave with the world as she exited the stage of life. And although the world loved Whitney for what she did and how she did it, her Maker loved her for who she was. The real Whitney. Yes, Jesus did love Whitney.
V. Nona Ogunsula is a seasoned marketing professional with an entrepreneurial spirit and the principal creative force behind Women History Makers-DC, MD & VA and WOMEN AT LIBERTY. She is also a musician and songwriter.