Monday, June 18, 2012


Norma Jean Mortenson…. Remember that name?  Norma Jean’s mother, Mrs. Gladys Baker, was periodically committed to a mental institution and Norma Jean spent much of her childhood in foster homes.  In one of those foster homes, when she was 8 years old, one of the boarders raped her and gave her a nickel.

He said, ‘Here Honey…. Take this and don’t ever tell anyone what I did to you.’  When little Norma Jean went to her foster mother to tell her what had happened, she was beaten.  She was told, ‘Our boarder pays good rent. Don’t you ever say anything bad about him!’  Norma Jean at an early age learned what it was to be used and given a nickel and beaten for trying to express the hurt that was in her.  In time, Norma Jean turned into a very pretty girl and people began to notice.  Boys whistled at her and she began to enjoy that, but she always wished they would notice she was a person too – not just a body – or a pretty face – but a person.

Then Norma Jean went to Hollywood and took a new name – Marilyn Monroe.  And the publicity people told her, ‘We are going to create a modern sex symbol out of you.’  Her naïve reaction was, ‘A symbol?  Aren’t symbols things people hit together?’  The said, ‘Honey, it doesn’t matter, because we are going to make you the most smoldering sex symbol that ever hit the celluloid.’  She was cast in dumb blonde roles.  Everyone hated Marilyn Monroe because she would keep the filming crews waiting two hours on the set.  She was regarded as a selfish prima dona.  What they did not know was that she was in the dressing room vomiting because she was so terrified.  She went through three marriages used and abused by heartless men.  And so finally, on a Saturday night, at the age of 35, Marilyn Monroe took her own life.  When the maid found her body the next morning, she noticed the telephone was off the hook.  It was dangling there beside her.  In the last moments of her life she called to tell a Hollywood actor that she had taken enough sleeping pills to kill herself.  He answered by saying, in so many words…. ‘I don’t care.’ 

What really killed Marilyn Monroe, the love goddess who never found love?  The dangling telephone was the symbol, a metaphor of her whole life.  She died because she never got through to anyone who understood or cared for her.

She needed a Savior.  She needed a Lord.  She needed forgiveness and a life purpose.  She needed a community of caring friends who would surround her with genuine unselfish friendship.  How many 8 year old or 35 year old Norma Jean Mortenson’s will there be in our life path?

Pray with me…. Father, give us Your heart for the little ones, the lost ones who are around us every day.  Get us outside of ourselves so we can be used as a channel of your love and grace to the people with whom we interact today.  In the name of the One who went about doing good and loved the weak and the wandering, Jesus….amen.

Pastor Ken

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