I don’t typically write when I’m irritated (because it usually doesn’t result in nice-ness), but I felt the need to this morning.
A few weeks ago, Tammy Faye (Bakker) Messner died. If you aren’t familiar with her, she was well known wife of Jim Bakker and co-host of the popular TBN show "Praise the Lord". She was caught up in controversy and has been the brunt of much criticism and jokes in the past 20 years. People make fun of her appearing on "The Surreal Life" and for her overt emotional responses. People make fun of her apperance and how she dresses and the way she wears her makeup. People disregard her spiritual depth simply because of circumstances surrounding her and her upbeat and sometimes "gaudy" approach to life.
The night before she died, I watched her last interview on Larry King. (HERE are the transcripts) I was struck by her strong faith and belief that the Lord is ultimately in charge of her life. Cancer to her was simply a result of living in this fallen world and not anything that was going to detour her from her love and adoration for the Lord and His goodness. She sat on the show–almost unable to speak, 65 pounds and exhausted-and proclaimed the gospel of the Lord and His love for everyone. I was so moved by this woman. A woman that has endured not just a life sentence with cancer, but tolerated so many people treating her with cruel words and judgment.
The reason that i got irritated was hearing people (mainly Christians) making fun of her before and after she had passed away. Making fun of the way she looks or carries herself. Disregarding her as "cooky" and "corrupt" after all the craziness in the 80’s/90’s. I was sick to hear people poo-poo her and her work for the Lord.
One thing is crystal clear to me—SHE was out there, putting herself in the public eye and sharing the good news with others. She was effervescently proclaiming Gods goodness and love to ALL people (not just Christians) and did it until the day she died. She should be commended for her work, not made fun of.
WHO CARES if she wore alot of makeup? WHO CARES is she had large hair, wore shoulder pads and dressed up her dogs??? We, as a society, idolize celebrities, sports stars and government officials that are up to their ears in corrupt and sideways behavior, but since they "appear" normal, we dismiss it. Isn’t that ironic?
I guess what i’m trying to say is that it is just ridiculous to me that people make fun of her, when she was truly touching lives and making a difference. We all should be ready to take a closer look at the good that Tammy Faye did and the warrior for the Lord she was–until the end.
My hope is that I can have the same amount of joy, hope and faith as Tammy Faye in all circumstances.