I hear it said often that people could not wait to get out of 2020. I guess I can understand that sentiment. It was the most challenging year of my life. It was also the year of some incredible losses. It seems that each month of the year, someone of celebrity status passed away.
I remember New Years Day 2020, reading about the death of former NBA commissioner David Stern. Mr. Stern had some health issues and was in his late 70’s, so, I was sad to hear the news, but not terribly shocked. 25 days later, I came home from church, checked my twitter feed and read the news of the sudden and tragic death of retired NBA player Kobe Bryant. Being a basketball fan, these two deaths caused me to pause and think of the frailty of life.
The following month, I learned of the death of one of the beautiful actresses of my childhood, Ja’Net DuBois, who starred in the 70’s sitcom “Good Times’ and died in her sleep at the ripe age of 85. Also Academy Award winning actor Kirk Douglas died at 103 years old.
For me, the month of March brought on the news of the Chinese Virus that was concocted in a lab in Wuhan, China, and released amongst the American people in an effort to distract voters from becoming aware of the massive voter fraud that would take place in the month of November. The government shut down the entire country. Businesses were closed, with the exception of “essential” businesses, such as grocery stores, gas stations, doctors offices, hospitals, strip clubs, abortion clinics, and ABC stores. Churches were closed! To my shock and dismay, most pastors and church leaders did not resist when the governor of their state decided that ABC stores were essential and churches were not.
In March, I also lost my job. The organization for which I worked was forced to shut down due to the city mayor placing a curfew on the city as of 5 pm on Friday, March 27. We were told that they would do everything possible to bring all employees back, but my position was eliminated, and I was not invited back to work.
In March, I also learned of the death of Curly Neal, a professional basketball player who dazzled audiences with his skill alongside other Harlem Globetrotters. He died at 77. April took famed jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis, Jr., father of the super talented Marsalis brothers, Wynton and Branford, at 85 years of age. The month of May took away Eddie Haskell from “Leave It To Beaver”. He was 76 years young. May also saw the death of another NBA legend, Jerry Sloan, who coached the Utah Jazz for 23 years. His death was another blow to me because I always admired his integrity. He was 78 years old. May 25 brought the most infamous death of the year when 46 year old George Floyd died while being apprehended by police, for crimes that he had committed earlier in the day. His death set off a string of riots, lootings and killings across America. We were forced to witness the hatred and vitriol that is harbored in the hearts of some Americans. We were forced to watch the anger and rage over the death of a criminal, while innocent babies die at an alarming rate in abortion clinics all across this country. But I digress…
In June, Bonnie Pointer died of cardiac arrest at the tender age of 69. She was one-third of the R&B trio, “The Pointer Sisters”. They were a huge part of my youth, recording soundtracks and hit songs that became cult classics. Also, St. Louis police captain David Dorn was killed on the street during rioting in the downtown area. According to Captain Dorn’s wife, he had gone downtown to check on a friend’s business after the burglar alarm went off. His death was recorded on video and streamed live on social media. Thinking of his death makes me so angry. His death was senseless and cruel. He served his city for a number of years, and left a stellar legacy.
July saw the deaths of Hugh Downs, longtime news correspondent, who lived to be 99 years old; Mary Kay Letourneau, the schoolteacher who had a sexual relationship with her student and married him once he was of legal age, who died at 58 years old of colorectal cancer; “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” songwriter-musician Charlie Daniels, who was 83, and Herman Cain, successful businessman and political activist, who died of covid related issues at 74 years old. In August, Wilford Brimley, who played the curmudgeonly old grandfather on the 80’s tv show “Our House”, died at 85 years old. The President’s younger brother, Robert Trump, also died in August. He was 71 years old. September saw the death of Kevin Dobson, 77 year old actor who starred as Mac MacKenzie in the night time soap opera, “Knots Landing”, and Edna Wright, one of the melodious voices of the 70’s girl group, The Honey Cones. She was 76 years old. 77 year old Gale Sayers, retired football player and subject of the movie “Brian’s Song”, died from dementia, and Helen Reddy, the Australian singer who helped fuel the feminist movement with her song, “I Am Woman”, died at 78 years old.
The month of October witnessed the passing of Sean Connery, the Scottish actor who portrayed the fictitious secret agent James Bond in a series of movies. He was 90 years old. In November, Carol Arthur, the widow of Dom DeLuise, died at 85 years old, Alex Trebek, the long time host of the game show, “Jeopardy”, died of pancreatic cancer at 80 years old. In December, Dawn Wells, who was Mary Anne from “Gilligan’s Island” died at 82 years old, as well as Joe Louis Clark, the principal of a New Jersy high school who was portrayed by Morgan Freeman in the movie, “Lean On Me” at 82 years old, and country music singer Charley Pride died from Covid at 86 years old.
There were other deaths that hit closer to home for me, such as my sweet Aunt Daisy, my grandmother’s last surviving sibling, who died at 103 years old. Aunt Daisy was my favorite of all my grandmother’s 12 siblings. She used to make the best tea cakes and creamed corn. She tried to teach me to make her creamed corn, but I could never master it. She had a gift as it pertained to cooking, and she blessed everyone who came into her home with that gift. The sadness that I feel for her is that she lived so long, was so kind to so many, but I have no confidence that she had saving faith in the LORD Jesus Christ.
Two of my high school classmates died in 2020. These were young men, and though I don’t know the state of their health, all things being equal, they died early. I just heard yesterday about the death of a distant cousin. Once again, I don’t know if he had health issues or what caused his death, but he was relatively young.
2020 was the year that, in my mind, the wrath of God was unleashed on America. I don’t know how other countries dealt with all that the Chinese Virus brought with it, but in America, where we are used to our freedoms and doing things differently from socialist and communist countries, it has been hard. My prayer is that we will wake up and see what is going on in our government and society. God’s wrath is unleashed on us because of how cruel we have been to the nation of Israel. We have historically not been their ally. God’s wrath is unleashed on us because of how bloody our hands are in the abortion mill in this country. We have slaughtered more than 60 million babies legally in the US since 1973. God’s wrath is unleashed on us because of the fact that we have embraced a sodomite lifestyle, and legalized marriage between two men and two women in the US. God’s wrath is unleashed because of how little of the Gospel is actually preached from the pulpits in US churches, traded for the ways of world, seeker friendly tactics, concert-like music productions, pastors in t-shirts and skinny jeans, and absolutely no sound doctrine that would offend anyone or cause them to be concerned about their sin.
The losses were great in 2020. But the loss of our soul would be the greatest loss of all. If you are reading this, it means that you did make it out of 2020. You still have a chance to get it right with the LORD Jesus Christ. You still have a chance to make heaven your eternal home. You still have a chance to receive forgiveness for your sins, and be saved from the penalty of your sins, which is eternal death. Ask the LORD for forgiveness today.