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Friday, April 26, 2013

Icon or Friend?

I remember when Michael Jackson passed away, his sister, Janet Jackson, made a statement to the press.

Among her many heartfelt comments, she wanted to make one thing clear: Michael's death had a completely different meaning to her and her family than to anyone in the public.

She said something along the lines of, "To the world, he's an icon, but to us, he is family."

To them, Michael was not just King of Pop. He was little brother. He was friend. He was flesh and blood.  He was more than just a symbol.  He was a real person. 

I have to admit.  When I was younger, Jesus was only a religious symbol to me in many ways.  Similar to a musical rock star, I believe He existed, I just didn't know him on a personal level.  And, I most certainly did not know him as Friend.

But, then one day everything changed.  It is hard to find the right words to describe it, except to say that He opened the eyes of my heart and I saw.  I saw that He is absolutely real.  Was I stunned? Absolutely.  At that moment, I needed someone to pinch me.  From that day on He was no longer an icon to me. I could now say, for certain, that I knew Him personally.

And, this is what He desires for each of us.  He wants us to know that He is close.  He is real.  He is not a religious symbol.  He is a Real Person who is wanting a friendship with each of us.  He wants us all to be, like Janet Jackson, personally involved.  He wants us all to be able to stand up and say, "To the world, He's an icon, but to me, He is Family."

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