I’m going through my CDs, listening to each in turn and either keeping them or throwing them out. My CDs are alphabetical order. I’m up to ‘R’. Yesterday was ‘Cliff Richard: 40 Golden Greats’… Livin’ Doll, The Young Ones, Congratulations….
This morning’s local paper headline: ‘Summer Holiday!: When Sir Cliff Richard enjoyed trips on the Norfolk Broads’’. Describing his Norfolk holidays 50 years ago:
‘…as one of the leaders for parties of up to 30 north London schoolboys who were members of the Crusaders’ Union, a Christian youth and Bible study group.’
Sir Cliff was ‘coming out’ as a Christian; the world he sung about was simple and straightforward. Boys and girls meet, fall in love, live happily ever after.
In 2014 there were the child sex abuse allegations and the court case. Sir Cliff strongly denied the claims against him; in 2016 all charges were dismissed:
‘… I felt as though everything I had worked for during my life – trying to live as honestly and honourably as I could – was being torn apart. I felt forever tainted. I still do.’
In recent months many have had their simple and straightforward turned upside down. Many have felt stress and pressure – perhaps not so dramatically as Sir Cliff – but it’s been life changing.
Today, the Tuesday of Holy Week, many churches remember Jesus’ betrayal by Judas; it would change the course of his life and within a few days would lead to his death.
Sir Cliff reflected on those difficult times: ‘In the end, when you’re lying in your bed and nobody is there, I would talk to God… those prayers were vital for me surviving those years… I feel my Christian faith grew … It’s impossible for me now to have gone through that without the knowledge that God was there, and that he loved me.’
I’ll keep the Cliff Richard CD. Today’s is ‘The Righteous Brothers’.