Farewell, Dear Olivia

Posted on August 8, 2022


By David Ettinger

Celebrity Crush
Famous people die every day, but this one really hurts.

Olivia Newton-John lost her decades’-long battle with cancer and left this world at age 73.

I grew up as a child-teenager of the 1960s-1970s, and Olivia was one the 3 celebrity crushes of my upper teen years (the other two were Dorothy Hamill and Cheryl Ladd). But Olivia was the most beautiful of them.

I remember seeing her for the first time on the 1975 TV show, “The Midnight Special,” which featured rock, pop, and soul stars of the time performing their hits live. In those pre-YouTube days, it was one of the few ways to see what these music stars looked like (with the exception of their albums).

On that particular night, Olivia sang her hit, “Have You Never Been Mellow.” I don’t remember the performance (though I can watch it now on YouTube), but I do remember my mom saying something to the effect of, “Okay, David, you can put your eyes back in your head now.”

An Interested Onlooker
Outside of Olivia’s beauty, I can’t really say I was a fan of hers, though I’m pretty familiar with her biggest hits, and of course her iconic turn in the movie “Grease.” In essence, I was an interested onlooker when it came to Olivia Newton-John’s career.

I know that Olivia had the reputation of being one of the nicest superstars in show biz, and how much she loved her fans, and how much her fans loved her. I also know that she had been fighting cancer courageously for the past 30 years.

She was a kind, decent, and brave celebrity, and was admired by fans and fellow celebs alike.

The Spiritual Reality
But alas, I am a Christian, and know what the Bible says about what happens when we die.

Because we are born sinners (Psalm 51:5), we are separated from God (Isaiah 59:2). Because of this, we are recipients of God’s wrath (John 3:36), and subject to eternal damnation in Hell followed by the Lake of Fire (Matthew 25:46; Revelation 20:14-15).

However, God has provided a way out from eternal damnation ­– and one way only – and this is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9). If we confess we are sinners and accept the lordship of Jesus Christ, we will be saved (Acts 16:31), and spend eternity with God in “Paradise” – or Heaven (Luke 23:43).

Which brings us back to Olivia Newton-John, and more specifically the question, Where is she right now?

Well, she’s in 1 or 2 places – Heaven or Hell. 1 John 5:11-12 tells us: “And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life [eternity with Him], and this life is in His Son [Jesus]. The one who has the Son has the [eternal] life; the one who does not have the Son of God does not have the [eternal] life.”

Therefore, the answer to the question of “Where is Olivia Newton-John right now?” is this: “It depends on whether or not she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.”

I so hope Olivia gave her life to Christ and that she is now basking in the glories of her new heavenly abode. For a brief time in my life, I was memorized by her dazzling beauty, talent, and charm. But alas, such physical attributes are brief and fleeting.

In fact, every human attribute is brief and fleeting, followed by – at one time or another – the realization that we are but decaying dust and debris. And when at last our bodies give out, we go on to face almighty God.

We either face Him wearing the garb of our own failed righteousness, or in the glorious attire of Christ’s perfect righteousness imparted to us upon salvation.

I hope Olivia is clothed in Christ’s royal, righteous robes.

How about you? How are you clothed? Do you know the Savior?