Saturday, August 05, 2006


I'm out of town, taking care of some business. This is like, spy business. It's secret. I can't tell you what I'm doing, or with whom, but I can say I'm having fun.

I am with important people, and in fact, because I had on a badge that said, "VIP". I was even mistaken as an important person. I've never been a VIP. It has perks I don't usually have. I get to sit in close proximity to famous people with VIP status, and some of those people are more famous than others.

Last night I found myself sitting behind a superstar. A fallen idol. I was right behind her but I didn't recognize her. If my daughter Abby was with me she'd have said she looked "a hot mess." I hate a hot mess. They're so much worse than cold or room temperature messes.

The hostess announced this special and unexpected guest, and she cried as she did it, thanking God for her presence. You could tell she loved her. You could tell their friendship went back many years. I don't know that superstar personally, but we went back years too. I remembered when she was a model. There weren't many black models in Seventeen Magazine in the early eighties, and I knew them all by name. She was beautiful. She could have had a career as a model, but dear Lord, that young woman could sing like an angel.

I remember watching her first video on brand spankin' new MTV. I remember when she started making movies. I remember her very public marriage trials and tribulations, and when her crack addiction became common knowledge. I looked at her, sitting there in a simple pair of jeans. A tank top. No make up at all. I couldn't help but think of that scripture about how the mighty have fallen. I felt so sad for her, but I was glad to see her. I'd prayed for her many times reading the tabloids and music magazines. I felt sorry for her. I loved her.

I wanted to tell her I loved her. I believe she can kick crack with God's help. I've known people who have. I wanted to tell her I'd prayed for her, but she was a celebrity, and a VIP pass did not give me a right to invade her privacy. She was there to worship God. Maybe find a bit of peace. Deliverance. I didn't begrudge her that.

I couldn't take my eyes off of her. I wished in my heart, again, that I could just tell her that I prayed for her. I felt like a little part of the miracle that brought her to the place where we both were, where the presence of God was so palpable, so beautiful, but I said nothing.

She turned to the woman beside her and said, "I'm so hungry. I haven't had anything to eat and I'm starving." She was painfully thin. God knows that woman needed to eat.

I, on the other hand, am NOT painfully thin. I'm most volumptous, and that was a kind word I used. As many "volumptuous" people are inclined, I happened to have food on my person. Yes. I had a candy bar in my purse that had traveled with me from Ann Arbor. I bought it days ago. That I still had it was a miracle in itself, and now, a hungry, broken, superstar was right in front of me, starving. What would Jesus do? I don't mean that in a rubber bracelet way, but in that incarnation, Jesus really is in me way. What would He do?

I pulled the candy out of my purse, and scooted up to her. I called her name, and she turned and looked at me. I offered my meager gift to her. She laughed. In very divalicious fashion she said, "I know you did NOT just offer me a candy bar."

The only thing I could think of to say was, "It's a Payday." I said it with a wicked grin.

She laughed again, and took my offering. I leaned into her and said, God bless you. I've prayed for you."

"Thanks, baby," she said. And that was that.

The woman next to her pulled out a healthy snack. Some kind of fruity, granola-y thing. But superstar was still laughing. "She heard me," she said. She heard me say I was hungry and gave me a candy bar.

But I'd like to think it wasn't just me that heard her. I'd like to think that God hears us, that He always hears us, and that when we hunger and thirst--for righteousness, or for a little something to tide us over until we can feast once again--He'll be there with something to feed us with.

I sat back in my seat and watched her. She didn't eat the healthy snack. She ate the Payday bar in little bites as if she were savoring it. I hoped God was in every little bite. I hoped God would surround her, lift her, forgive her, speak tenderly to her, and love on her every day of her life. I pray that the little light in her shines brightly until it becomes greater than the blaze of glory she once new. I pray that when she is down she will remember me, and know that I am still praying for her. I pray that God will use that silly encounter to show His most serious love. He always hears, superstar. Always.

May we all taste of God, and keep savoring of His sweetness until we are filled.



Alison Strobel Morrow said...

Hey sister. Just wanted to let you know I voted for you on the black blog awards. :) I hope you're having a blast in Nashville; can't wait to hear about it!


Heather Diane Tipton said...

wow, great post.

Sharon Hinck said...

Beautiful encounter.
God is so amazing.
Thanks for being the kind of person He can use - and for seeing people as people. Real, hurting, in need of Him.

R.G. said...

My goodness, Claudia, that is so beautiful. You really were Jesus to Superstar that day, and I'm sure that encounter will stay with her, consciously or not. I think the encounter was meant for many of us, actually. We see from it some very real evidence that "Superstardom" may look so delicious from the outside, but it can't buy peace, it can't buy happiness, and it certainly can make it much more difficult to have a real relationship with Jesus (camel-through-the-eye-of-the-needle difficult).

Thank you for your beautiful post. It was so visual, I felt like I was there. I know it will stick with me!

shanna said...

Your story gave me shivers. I've been so sad for Superstar, too. And I remember her incredible voice--how I secretly adored it even though she sang the kind of pop music I then despised.

Yes, hunger is the great equalizer...and I'm so glad God blessed you with the opportunity to feed His starving little lamb.


Bek said...

wow, your writing. when i got to the paragraph "He always hears us" when we hunger and thirst part, my heart just did a little cry. AMAZING how He always Hears and always knows our hunger. he knows the intent of our hearts. even better then we do.

bobbie said...

oh woman, you slay me!

i am a puddle of tears. i too pray for superstar and am so amazed that YOU were an answer to my prayers for her!

thank you for sharing this with us!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Good for you, girlfriend! I pray for her too. if she stciks much more stuff up her nose, she ain't going to have one left!

Kristine said...

So sweet you are.
We never know how Christ is going to use us in the life of another.

slb said...

too. cool!

i especially dig the idea of God being in every little bite of the Payday.

Candy said...

Someday I hope you hear me say "I'm hungry". How precious.

Anonymous said...

and may our lives be a bit of God's "Payday" to others every day...