Since February 11, the world has mourned the death of the shooting star that was Whitney Houston, an iconic voice that is not likely to be matched for generations…But this Friday, when the movie “Sparkle” is released, the world will be able to see Whitney shine once again – her last time this side of Heaven…I do believe that “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven,” and I believe the world was being prepared to release Whitney back to the Father that bestowed her with the voice of angels although we did not realize it at the time…
Mara Brock Akil, who wrote the screenplay for “Sparkle,” discussed the synchronicity at work as the screenplay unfolded in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“She kept calling me her angel,” Mara says. But Mara was baffled when Houston said to her, “I really appreciate your putting my church in your script.”
“I didn’t put your church in my script,” Mara told her.
“New Hope Baptist,” Houston prompted. Mara had unwittingly given the church in Sparkle the same name as the church in Newark, N.J., where Houston had started to make her indelible mark, singing gospel as a young girl. (The same church hosted Houston’s funeral service.)
“I believe in divine order all the time,” Mara says. (She and Salim are Muslim.) “But this particular time, I really felt the presence of God all the way through. It was like it was meant to be.”
And I do believe each of us is afforded the opportunity to claim “new hope” in Christ Jesus if we would only take Him at His word. In spite of the addictions and ailments she suffered from throughout her short life, Whitney professed her faith in Christ Jesus over and over again, and I pray that He guided her safely into the arms of Her heavenly father…In fact Whitney’s devoted mother Cissy Houston always felt that Whitney would never be in the world for very long and revealed so in an open letter to Whitney that appeared in Whitney’s funeral program. A copy of that letter appears on Essence.com.
I never told you that when you were born the Holy Spirit told me that you would not be with me long and I thank God for the beautiful flower he allowed me to raise and cherish for 48 years.
In the same letter, Cissy Houston revealed that for months leading up to Whitney’s passing, she had been depressed although unable to pinpoint the cause of her feelings…
The other day on February 11th He came for you. But not without warning. For two months now I have been depressed, crying, lonesome and sad not knowing why.
And I believe that if you choose to walk with the Lord, He will give you experiences that enable your burdens on earth to be a bit lighter in spite of the pain we all will experience from time to time…That is what He did for Cissy Houston on the very day of her beloved daughter’s death…
On Saturday, before I found out about your transition, my doorbell rang. I went to answer it but there was no one there. It rang again and again, no one was there so I called the concierge to tell him someone was ringing my doorbell. He checked the cameras and told me that no one was there. You promised me you were coming to spend time with me after the Grammys. I believe the spirits allowed you to come after all.
Last night, I attended a book signing for Denene Millner, who wrote the novelization of “Sparkle.” Millner detailed how she was entrusted with developing a back story for Whitney Houston’s character Emma, Sparkle’s single mother who was a former singer instead of a maid as in the original movie. In this modern-day version, Emma warns her daughters that show business has its pitfalls in spite of the dizzying heights of fame and fortune. We’ve all probably seen that the now haunting trailer for the movie in which Emma says, “Was my life not enough of a cautionary tale for you?” She said writing the novelization of the movie over a two-week period last month was particularly meaningful in light of Whitney’s death months earlier. In fact, Millner wrote the book in two weeks as she only was offered the opportunity last month.
So, I hope you will join me as I plan to reflect on the beautiful brilliance of Whitney Houston in “Sparkle” this Friday! Your earthly vessel has been gone back to the dust, but your spirit soars on…