by Joey Davis
February 4, 1983 was a day that, in my mind, will go down in infamy. A terrible tragedy occurred that changed my world forever.
As a young man, I fell in love with an older woman that I had never met. She had the voice of an angel and the beauty to match. Her music was different from anyone else's. When I heard her sing, I recognized her sultry voice and got goose pimples every time. (still do!) Her name was Karen Carpenter.
At a time when my world was being invaded by "Hard Rock", "Country Rock", and "Disco" (yuck!), her mellow voice represented safety in a sea of anarchy. She sang about life. She sang about the love between a man and a woman without ever sounding cheap or degrading. Her public image was spotless.
However, on February 4, 1983, Karen Carpenter died. She was a young woman who had every reason to live. She was still at the height of her popularity. Any recording company in the, world would have loved to have her on their label.
After all of the years that her music was one of the few things in my life that made any sense, her death made none at all!
Karen Carpenter died of a disease that I, at that time, had heard very little about. It is called Anorexia Nervosa. In layman's English, this beautiful woman saw herself as overweight and became so obsessed with her weight that she literally starved herself to death.
I was shocked and crushed! I understood how some of the other music stars had died. Croce and VanZant in plane crashes. Joplin and Hendrix to drugs and stupidity. But my squeaky clean girl next door had just killed herself with a knife and fork because she thought she was fat. Hearts broke all over the world.
I'm getting too old to carry a torch for a singer anymore, and quite frankly, I haven't seen one worth the time and energy. But I'll never forget Karen Carpenter. She's the lady I can't explain.....
There's another type of anorexia, that is becoming rampant. It's "spiritual anorexia". Sometimes Christians ignore the fact that the Bible is food for their souls. They get so caught up in trying to be pretty in the eyes of the world that it causes them to starve their souls to death by refusing to study God's word.
This spiritual starvation leaves behind a wake of tragedy. Children have poor role models. Wives and Husbands lose their spiritual connection with their starving spouses and sometimes divorce. Zeal, commitment, and fervor become a memory.
Karen Carpenter's death was a tragedy, but no more so than a Christian who starves spiritually. Dust of your Bible and feast!
April 10, 1994
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