Death of an Icon

Posted: November 29, 2011 in Devotionals

November 29

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14)

It’s hard when an icon dies…that part of Americana that has always been with us is suddenly missing. I wonder why that is? It was that way when Natalia Zacharenko passed away. Don’t remember her? Little Natalia first came to our consciences in the 1947 Christmas Classic “Miracle on 34th Street”, when she played the believing little lady…she would go on to star opposite Orson Wells, Claude Colbert, Jimmy Stewart, Bette Davis and many more superstars in an estimated 20 more films as a child. As a teen she set her sights even higher, receiving an Academy Award Nomination for he co-starring role in “Rebel Without a Cause”, opposite James Dean. She graduated from Van Nuys High School in 1956, and wasted no time moving her career to the next level. In fairly quick succession she starred in “West Side Story”, “Gypsy”, “Splendor in the Grass”, and “Love with a Proper Stranger”…the last two of which she received Best Actress nods from the Academy Awards for. It was not so much that she had been a star in so many of the classic films that define our culture, as it was that she was a star as a child, a teen, and then a young adult, that had made her an icon. She was a Queen Victoria of sorts that ruled the Great Britannia of our movie f=going for almost four decades! And then suddenly it was over. Late one night while partying with co-star Christopher Walken and husband Robert Wagner, she somehow slipped overboard and washed up only day later…another Hollywood tragedy. So why is it so hard when someone like Natalia dies. I believe it is because we are terrified to look at our own mortality. We refuse to face the fact that we will all die. We don’t like thinking about the how, the why or the when. But when confronted with the loss of one of our icons, death becomes all too real. For the believer, though, death has no such hold…or it ought not to have. Jesus has redeemed, we have been saved from the Dark Eternity. We have not so much been made into good people from bad people, as we have been made from dead people into living people. Death therefore is just an instantaneous transition from glory to glory…from life to Life. It may seem we the same fear of death, but in many ways it is a fear of Life.
Because for us, the pensiveness brought on by the passing of an icon is more one of, “What have I left undone. How can I make each moment count?” Those are no bad things. They are in fact the very questions we should be asking ourselves everyday. After all, there was only one death of an icon that could really ever have lasting meaning…and that was the one death that brought us life, and that everlasting.
It was on this day in 1981 that an American Icon Natalie Wood, was found drowned near Santa Catalina Island off the coast of California. She was 43 years old.

1 Corinthians 15:54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
55“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?” 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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