The death of Whitney Houston is a tragedy. The loss of such a powerful, memorable voice is a tragedy. The sorrow it brings to friends and family is a tragedy. Any death is a tragedy, even when inevitable. But avoidable death is a greater tragedy.
Whitney need not have died. She need not have given her life to drugs and alcohol. Such talent and enjoyment for thousands need not have been cut short. Not only Whitney, but from Marilyn Monroe on, you can probably supply names of others whose lives have been cut short by self-destructive behaviour.
Of course, many others have fallen into this spiral and lived to tell about it. But few tell of the reason behind it. Celebrity does not bring the expected results. Yes, the money and comfort is there, the adulation, the fame, that beckon us all.
The tragedy of life cut short like Whitney’s is the seductive promise of fulfilment, early gains of fame confirming the delusion, pushing towards the goal. But success proves empty; the enchantment of the journey emptied by the futility of achievement.
The One who created us and placed the yearning of the soul in us; only He can satisfy it. His is the still small voice we ignore or try to stifle. The greater the disillusionment, the louder the voice sounds and the greater the need to drown it.
Whitney is not in a league on her own in this tragedy. Myriads of us live in quiet desperation, subconsciously aware of our separation from God. We trust in things and people that only partly fill the void. Peace is only found in reconciling with the one who continues to call us to Himself.