When I saw Marvin Sapp’s wife had passed away of cancer yesterday, I’ll admit I had never heard of MaLinda Sapp. But after a day of reading an incredible number of tributes to this mother of three, who was married Marvin Sapp for 15 years, I too feel a sense of loss, for a woman who was an obvious role model and inspiration to so many people at Marvin’s church and beyond.
I wasn’t having a great day yesterday. But as I began reading those tributes, and looking at my two children and thinking about the Sapps, I felt a flood of gratefulness for all I have. And that wasn’t the only lesson she showed me.
It’s a beautiful thing to see a woman so deeply loved and respected in a time when way too many celebrities are known not for the things they do for other people but the scandals they generate, and that includes all too many celebrity moms.
How many times have we seen a celebrity mom (or dad) involved in a car accident, only to find out later they were DUI? Or read about how a star all but ignores their offspring? Or cringed as parents sell pictures of a new baby to the highest-paying tabloid?
I’m sure MaLinda Sapp was not a saint – none of us are. I’m sure she had days where she yelled at her kids for no good reason, just like the rest of us. But she and her husband were on a mission to help as many people as they could through their calling, as highly educated preachers reaching out to the community around them.
And if you can judge someone by their impact, the tributes on Twitter, Facebook and sites across the internet speak volumes about MaLinda’s character. I find them sad but inspiring.
She and her family are in my prayers now. And I hope her life lessons stay around long after her passing.