The description of someone who forced impossibility to transform into reality can only partially define Michael Jackson’s life.
Like Jesus turned water into wine, Jackson’s life magically transformed our lives into something greater and stronger. As Motown’s CEO Berry Gordy said of Michael, “He raised the bar then broke the bar.” Gordy signed The Jackson Five when Michael was ten years old.
As the July 7 memorial service played out at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, it was clear that even in death, Michael was still breaking records. His service was attended by thousands, watched by millions, streamed live on the Web across the world, and 3,200 police were on hand at the stadium, more than were on duty during the 1984 Olympics.
In the days leading up to Michael Jackson’s funeral, it was nearly impossible to escape conversations about the king of pop’s June 25 death. His music trickled into our days via radio and TV. Our iPods played Jackson albums of years past, even elevator rides became a little more “Bad.”
Strangers shared intimate details about how Michael Jackson touched their lives. Testimonials poured in from his celebrity friends and devout fans. Stories filled our hearts as people professed how “You are Not Alone,” “I’ll be there,” and “Heal the World” saved their lives, cured their broken souls, and allowed them to see the light, and they found direction and purpose, careers, and passion for living through Jackson’s music.
Somehow, between 1958 and 2009, Michael Jackson became the modern-day Jesus. While Jesus walked on water, Michael walked the moon. Like Jesus,
Michael was persecuted for being different. Like Jesus, Michael died too soon.
“Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King,” sang a choir from the Staples stage. The crowd cheered as the Jackson brothers carried out their brother in a gold casket adorned with an entrée of large, red roses.
Each brother was decorated with a sparkly glove. Prior to this moment, the song referred to one King, now fittingly I sing, “Hallelujah, hallelujah we’re going to see the king.”