From Moonwalker to Miracle Worker
Motown’s 25-year anniversary celebration Michael Jackson moonwalked his
way right into the hearts and souls of millions. Questions like, "Did
you see that?" and "How did he do that?" rang around the universe. And
neither was his own family immune. They were as dazed and amazed as
anyone else at the jaw-dropping stunt. Without a doubt, it was a most
memorable occasion, nothing short of miraculous. And, speaking of
miracles, if you ask ten people to define the word "miracle" you’d
probably get ten different answers. The Bible immediately comes to mind
when some think of a miracle. Take for instance the story of Jonah and
though the Bible doesn’t specifically say it was a whale, skeptics
think the story a bit fishy anyway. (Jonah 1:17) In actuality, that a
man can be swallowed whole by a great sea monster is well within the
bounds of reality. Take the whale shark for example. In quoting
National Geographic one magazine recounts: "’The whale shark’s unusual
digestive anatomy,’ reported National Geographic magazine, ‘lends
itself to Jonah stories,’ referring to the Biblical incident about the
prophet Jonah being swallowed by a great fish. Whale sharks have ‘a
nonviolent way of getting rid of large objects of dubious digestibility
they swallow accidentally.’" (As quoted in the December 2009, issue of
Awake!, a magazine that Michael Jackson used to distribute from door to
a miracle doesn’t have to be restricted to events (or persons)
chronicled in the Bible record. According to the American Heritage
Dictionary, a "miracle" can be "One that excites admiring awe." By this
definition, Michael Jackson was a moonwalking "miracle." Furthermore,
the sheer magnitude of his charitable acts–both known and unknown–are
‘miraculous’ in and of themselves. The following is the last in the
three lists of "miracles" published in this column that Michael Jackson
performed before what many see as his untimely, orchestrated,
19, 1993: Michael is one of the stars that performs at the Presidential
Inauguration of Bill Clinton. Before he sings Gone Too Soon he draws
attention to the plight of AIDS victims and mentions his friend Ryan
26, 1993: At a press conference held at Century Plaza Hotel in Century
City, Los Angeles, Michael is presented with a $200,000 donation from
the National Football League and Super Bowl sponsors. He gets another
$500,000 from the BEST Foundation for his "Heal The World" Foundation.
At this occasion the foundation of "Heal L.A." is officially announced.
1993: In association with computer game giant Sega, Michael launches an
initiative to distribute more than $108,000 of computer games and
equipment to children’s hospitals, children’s homes, and children’s
charities throughout the U.K.
1993: Michael donates $100,000 to the Children’s Defense Fund, the
Children’s Diabetes Foundation, the Atlanta Project, and the Boys and
Girl Clubs of Newark, New Jersey.
October 22, 1993: Michael visits a hospital in Santiago, Chile.
28, 1993: Michael makes it possible for 5,000 underprivileged children
to visit the Reino Aventura Park where the whale Keiko ("Free Willy")
November 5, 1993: Michael is guest at a children’s party at the Hard Rock Cafe in Mexico City.
1993: With the backing of funds provided by Michael Jackson the
Gorbachev Foundation airlifts 60,000 doses of children’s vaccines to
21, 1996: Michael donated a four-time platinum disc of HIStory in aid
of the Dunblane appeal at the Royal Oak Hotel, Sevenoaks in England.
18, 1996: In Soweto, South Africa Michael lays down a wreath of flowers
for youngsters who have been killed during the fights involving
1996: Michael Jackson is a special guest at the first Sports Festival
"Hope" event held for orphans and disadvantaged children. Up to 3,000
children and an additional 600 volunteers take part in the festival
6, 1996: Michael visits the children’s unit of a hospital in Prague.
Though details are unclear, it appears that while there he launches the
Michael Jackson International Book Club, which is part of his new Heal
the Kids charity. The book club aims to promote childhood reading and
encourages parents to return to reading bedtime stories to children.
15, 2002: Michael donates 16 exclusively autographed items consisting
of CDs and videos (as well as two cotton napkins since there was
nothing else to write on) to aid in the support of the victims of a
severe flood in Germany. These items are auctioned off for charity and
manage to raise several thousand dollars.
12, 2002: In showing his respect for the sacrifices military men and
women make in behalf of their country Michael Jackson invites more than
200 Team Vandenberg members and their families to his Neverland Ranch.
Vandenberg Air Force Base is relatively close to Neverland Ranch. Those
invited have recently returned from overseas deployments.
November 21, 2002: Michael donates a jacket to The Bambi Charity Event in Berlin, Germany. The jacket goes for $16,000.
25, 2002: Michael Jackson performs at a fundraiser for the Democratic
National Committee at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, helping to raise
nearly $3 million dollars towards voter registration.
2003: The Wolf family, who experienced serious damages to their
belongings during the flood in Saxony, Germany in August 2002, is
invited to Berlin by Michael while he’s at the Bambi Awards. He then
invites them to Neverland where they spend three days meeting with
Michael and his children.
it comes to Michael Jackson’s enduring charitable works toward all
God’s children I’m reminded of the Scripture text that reads: "God is
always fair. He will remember how you helped his people in the past and
how you are still helping them. You belong to God, and he won’t forget
the love you have shown his people." (Hebrews 6:10, Contemporary
English Version) Neither will the persons who were on the receiving end
of his charity forget his love.
finally, won’t it be heartwarming when the words of Revelation 21:4
come to pass? Speaking of those who are suffering the pain of losing
Michael (and countless others), it says that God "will wipe every tear
from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or
pain. All these things are gone forever." (New Living Translation) In
the meantime stay up. Stay strong. And keep the faith. Amen.