Glory From Clay: Reflections on Whitney Houston

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Glory From Clay: Reflections on Whitney Houston | February 24th, 2012

Glory From Clay: Reflections on Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston at SuperBowl XXV

I was sitting with some new friends as they were talking about the recent death of Whitney Houston. One of them was fairly upset that the state of New Jersey decided to fly their flags at half-mast in honor of Ms. Houston. The other man defended the honor by reminiscing how Whitney Houston once sang The National Anthem. The conversation got me thinking.

It was an interesting defense. There are few in the world who have been graced with a better voice than Whitney Houston. When she employed that instrument in a way that honored our country it filled people with a sense of patriotism and affection for our nation that was flat out remarkable. I have heard people talk of where they were when they heard Whitney sing The National Anthem.

It seems the part of Whitney people loved most was a raw gift from God. It appeared first when she was a small girl singing for her church. Her voice was not something you could work to get. It was a gift. As was her beauty. Whitney Houston had all that talent and spent nearly two decades of her life letting it seep out of her like air from a balloon.

The part that led to her untimely death was the part that Whitney added to the equation. It’s always like that isn’t it? We are part glory and part clay. People love the glory and despise the clay.

The amazing thing about God is he sees it more clearly than anyone. He sees the astounding gifts he has given each one of us. Think about it. Out of all the places in the world you were born here. Out of all the people in the world you not only have access to a computer but you can also read and write. Out of all the centuries you were born in this one. You have been given extra-ordinary gifts of grace and the only one who has ever kept track of them all is the Giver himself.

He has watched you, like we all watched Whitney, misuse or walk away from the gifts and he knows how the world has lost out because of it.

When I heard of Whitney’s death, I sighed and said with a certain air of righteousness, “What a waste.” Who would blame God for saying that about every one of us. And yet. And yet this God loves even the part that you add to the equation.

God not only loves the glory, he loves the clay and paid the ultimate price so even the clay could turn to glory.

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See one of Whitney’s most shining moments and the response here:

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  • http://www.thecommonlanguage.com/ Susan Moore

    I have three general questions in regards to spiritual gifts.  I understand that when a person is adopted into the Kingdom of God, God gives her a gift.
    (1) How does she unwrap herself to find out what gift she has been given?
    What responsibility does each have, (2)the person, (3)and the church, in identifying
    and fostering the expression of that gift?
    Come to think of it, I have a fourth question. Exactly what is the purpose of the gift?
    Thanks, Pastor Joe
    P.S. Partially in rememberance of Whitney I attended the 19th annual, “Gospel Meets
    Symphony,” last night at E.J. Thomas. Had a fabulous time!

  • 56springdale

    Singing is a talent – not a gift – just sayin. But she had an amazing talent.

  • Mmurrer1

    I love the cross earring. I obviously do not know her but I have the feeling that she received more joy from the Gospel than anything else in her live.

  • Paula Collins

    It is so sad that when we get caught up in “the world” and what it wants from us we forget who we truly belong to.  It is in the world’s moment that we turn to other means to help combat our problems instead of turning to the ONE who would so graciously combat them for us.  We need constant daily reminders of who we belong to so we don’t get caught up in all the noise around us.

  • Andrew Paisley

    When I read this it made me think of this verse: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us.”  2 Cor. 4:7.  The treasure is Jesus.  We (Whitney and all of us) are breakable pottery made from mirey clay. 

    • Joe Coffey

      great verse andrew. perfect.

  • Sludwick

    Thanks Joe for this humble reminder.  Have a good weekend.

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