During his childhood in the spotlight, Jackson found solace in going to church on Sundays, he wrote. He was raised a Jehovah’s Witness, though there have been reports that he converted to Islam. He also spent the Sabbath handing out missionary materials at homes and malls.
As the musical and cultural sensation grew in popularity, the media made it difficult for him to attend church, but he continued going door-to-door for “years and years” in disguise.
“I was comforted by the belief that God exists in my heart and in music and in beauty, not only in a building,” he wrote.
But he still missed feeling like part of a community, “sharing a day with God.”
He goes on to write that he experienced God when his children were born.
“Children are God’s gift to us. No — they are more than that — they are the very form of God’s energy and creativity and love. He is to be found in their innocence, experienced in their playfulness.”
Much of Jackson’s life was riddled by publicity crises, sex abuse accusations, unverified gossip, theories on what went wrong. This raw account offers a glimpse into the effect a lifetime of celebrity can have on a psyche.
And whatever you choose to believe and remember about his private life, it seems his intentions were good and his outlook pure.