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FIRST-PERSON: Add Ozzy to your prayer list

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (BP)–Ozzy Osbourne has been known for many years as the bad boy of heavy metal. Now, because of the recent MTV show that chronicles the strange goings-on in the Osbournes’ Beverly Hills mansion, he is also known as the head of America’s most dysfunctional family.

But recently, the world has seen another side to Ozzy, who was born in the city where I was raised — Birmingham, England. During a recent interview on U.S. TV with Barbara Walters, he broke down in tears after being questioned about his wife Sharon’s colon cancer.

Ozzy became tearful when Walters asked the rock star what Sharon meant to him.

“She’s the greatest love I’ve ever had in my life. She’s my pillar of strength and hope,” he said.

He added: “I’m absolutely horrified. It’s the worst thing that could ever happen.”

Their daughter Kelly added that she feared for the family if her mother died.

Many will be surprised to learn that Ozzy has received friendship from several Christians, including keyboard legend Rick Wakeman of YES. Wakeman even persuaded Ozzy Osbourne to sing the lyrics, “The devil no longer has all the best tunes,” on a marvelous track called “Buried Alive” on Wakeman’s epic album, “Return To The Centre Of The Earth,” which was released a couple of years ago by EMI Classics. The album was the sequel to “Journey to the Centre of the Earth,” his number one hit recording of more than 27 years ago.

“I chose Ozzy because he has a great voice, is a great friend, and was the right man for the song,” Wakeman said in an interview at the time of the release of this double album. “I worked with Ozzy on his ‘Ozzmosis’ album a few years ago in New York and really thought it was a tremendous recording. There is so much more to Ozzy than meets the eye, or the ear.

“The actual line you refer to that he sings is ‘The devil no longer has all the best tunes’, but there are a few other ‘Christian’-oriented lines in ‘Buried Alive,’ as indeed there are throughout the recording.”

I asked Rick if he had talked to Ozzy about his Christian faith.

“Ozzy and I have discussed many things in the 30 years we’ve known each other and that has included God,” he said. “I’m not going to say any more on this subject as the things we discussed were pretty personal. Whilst my faith is well-known and I am always happy to discuss it openly whenever asked, I don’t think it’s right to talk about where another person is on their personal spiritual path, for in many cases only God is aware of it.”

So how should we, as Christians, respond to Ozzy Osbourne in his time of need? Many in the church have been all too quick to judge him for his many strange antics, but I believe this is now the time for Christians all over the world to pray fervently for him, Sharon and the rest of the family.

Already one well-known church in Hollywood has put Sharon on their prayer list, and maybe we could also add Ozzy and the children to our personal prayer lists as well. After all, why should the devil have all the good music and musicians? Why, indeed?

Who knows? Maybe our prayers, instead of our criticism, might just see a great spiritual turnaround in this rather extraordinary and troubled family. Now wouldn’t that be something.
Wooding, a British journalist now living in Southern California, is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times). Reprinted from ASSIST News Service.

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  • Dan Wooding