Thursday, January 10, 2008

" Please don't let anything happen to her:" Jennifer Nettles

Talk to me for long enough and you're sure to hear about my toeing-the-line-between-healthy-and-unhealthy crush on Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles. Beautiful voice (and face), perfect dressy/thrift storey style combination, always seems like she's both sincere and having fun, wonderful stage presence...She even plays the tambourine (how cool is that?). She had me the first time she said "ah" (I). I'm like a PG version of those early 90s black and white Denis Leary commercials on MTV where he would obsess about Cindy Crawford. And you know what? I'm fine with that.

What I'm not fine with is where I fear her career is headed. This girl is about to be wicked famous (not always a good thing). First there was the duet with Bon Jovi. Then the tour with Kenny Chesney. Suddenly they're receiving a standing ovation at this year's Country Music Awards, culminating in the CMA for Best Duet (an award Brooks and Dunn had won six years in a row). Now JN is being picked up in the non-country world, where publications like the Boston Globe are lauding her as being "poised for breakout stardom."

In short, we're only about six months away from google searches where half the results for her name bring back sites called "Jennifer Nettles is hottttttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!" Sigh.

Have you ever loved someone you've never met? Where there's just something about him or her that speaks to you, that makes you think you could be friends? But the problem is that we're not friends. There's no advice I can give her, nothing I can do to keep her away from the lures of stardom and power. All I can do is sit here and hope that nothing happens to her.

It strikes me that this has to be similar to how parents must feel about children --
Please don't let anything happen to them.
Please let them stay innocent.

On a deeper level, it must be how God feels about us, at least to some degree. We're His children, people He loves, people for whom He desires the very best. He doesn't want anything to happen to us.

Somewhere along the way, we screw it up. We stop believing in His plans for us, we try to go our own way, we squander our lives on things we can't take with us to the grave. Yet in spite of our selfishness, He extends us the offer: simply accept Jesus as our savior, and all will be forgiven. When I think of passages like the parable of the Prodigal Son, it warms my heart, makes me eternally grateful and filled with hope for others. Even when something does "happen" to us, we can find salvation in the Lord. We are saved.

I know it's cliche to write words like this but that doesn't make them any less true. It is so freaking awesome to feel that love. That's the most important thing of all. If God is for us, who can be against us?

Mike Pacchione
(Mike blogs at

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