I try really hard to share with people the things in my life that have been transformative, things that made me look deep at the parts of my life that are not easy to acknowledge.
As I’ve said before, my Judeo Christian belief system has not always allowed for a platform of honesty. Looking the part and speaking “church-ese” was always the requiem for the pass needed into the elite club. I’m glad those days are coming to an end. Real life issues are making people have to come clean about what they truly believe and how they truly believe it. It is also creating more of a community of people who have suffocated behind the mask of so-called perfection. That is a wonderful thing. I hope it’s freeing when I share my flawed stories of myself.
Stories like this:
One family vacation the fam and I decided to go to Los Angeles. The kids love it out there so we go pretty often. Of course, when you go somewhere over and over again you find out what your favorite spots are for food, entertainment, etc. One of our favorite spots to eat is a restaurant called Mr. Chows. This place is like paradise to us! We leave every time planning when we can go back to Mr. Chows. Whatever you pick off the menu I promise it will be deliciously crazy! One thing about Mr. Chows as well is that it is one of the hot spots for celebrities and A-listers in the entertainment business, so paparazzi are always camped outside waiting to get a shot of your favorite star for the tabloids.
One night, we pulled up and saw the paparazzi in full swing. Cameras aimed like rifles at the door of every car that pulled up in the vicinity. Now being a gospel artist I’m not under any assumption that these people are going to know who I am.
However… I could tell something deep in my hidden heart part, I was hoping they would. I could feel a little “floss, show off in front of the kids” type of emotion in me, that of course created conflict with my spirit man. So with the “bi polar” in full swing, we pull up to the curb, and myself, my wife, my daughter, one of my homies, and my little boy, all proceeded to exit out the rental car. [Another confession: my “bling-bling’ inner struggle had rented a pretty nice suv]. As I exited first, to my flesh’s delight, they did notice me. hooray! Im somebody! Cameras go off. My 17 year old daughter, the fashionista, loved the cameras and hammed it up like she was Rhianna!
Wifey and my homie, a close friend followed as well. While I’m enjoying the attention, gazing into the flashes of “false acceptance and humility” one thing stuck out. After a few minutes of hearing someone say “where’s Zi?” Zi is the nickname of my son who was nine at the time. In the midst of his father bathing in the fleshly waters of self gratification, it dawned on me that I had lost my son in the lights. The flashing of the bulbs had blinded my son from his father. When I found him behind one of the photographers, he was crying and afraid. I grabbed him, feeling the weight of guilt heavy enough to erase every moment of pleasure I had just experienced outside. Looking into his tear filled eyes, I promised him that would never happen again.
Trying to be a star, enjoying false love, basking in glory that was never built for humans, I lost my son. Thank God I was able to recover him. Some not as fortunate. Some marriages or families never bounce back from a career that was the new mistress. Even a church that robbed Sunday evenings from any quality time at home. seeing the image of my son lost behind what I was so excited to get for that brief moment was not worth even one tear he shed that night.
Everything that feels good ain’t always God. Some things you can never get back. the news about me at a restaurant will be old news by next week. But the story of losing your family in the lights will be written on their hearts forever.