Sunday, April 19, 2009

Susan Boyle & the Beauty of God

Recently a phenomenon has developed over an unlikely source. The video that has fostered this phenomena is available on You Tube and has had over thirty million hits as of this writing. Great Britain's version of American Idol, Britain's Got Talent, was not only entertained but wowed by a very ordinary looking middle aged woman. When she came on stage you could hear the audience snickering because of her appearance. She was obviously not young. Nicely dressed, she still looked rather frumpy. As Simon Cowell asked her a few questions, you could still hear the giggles coming from the audience. As a matter of fact, the camera actually caught some audience members rolling their eyes in disbelief preparing themselves, no doubt, for yet another performance from a misguided "singer" who thought they really had talent. When Simon asked her what she was going to sing, she replied "I Had A Dream" a ballad from "Les Miserables." At this point even the judges rolled their eyes and braced themselves for what was about to follow.

The audience impatiently waited. The judges leaned back in their chairs as if to say that they knew what was coming their way. The music started, Susan took a breath, and began. From the first note out of her mouth Susan Boyle sounded like an angel. Her voice, powerful yet filled with passion, turned out the difficult piece with ease that brought tears to some of the audience. The stunned crowd jumped to its feet as the song progressed and the judges simply stared in complete unbelief. Susan Boyle could have easily performed the piece on Broadway in the musical! She was flawless in her rendition. Her voice pierced the cynicism of all who watched and touched the ears of everyone in the room. It was simply remarkably amazing. And what a lesson for us all!

Susan Boyle has been singing since age 12. She has never emerged from the shadows until now because she had never had the chance to perform in a venue such as the one the show afforded her at this very moment. However, through the years, she had worked hard to develop her abundant talent. Still , she had never received any kind of recognition. One has to think one of the main reasons for this is her appearance. She is not slim, youthful, or "sexy" as defined by today's standards. She is common and ordinary appearing as most of us are. Yet, hidden behind this ordinary veneer was this remarkable God-given talent. Her performance was a tribute to her talent and hard work and determination. But it was so much more.

Susan Boyle, like so many of us, has a remarkable ability that God has seen fit to instill within us. Yet, it so often goes unnoticed because of what we seem to be looking for outside of ourselves. Susan Boyle's talent is a reflection of the beauty and magnificence of God. She bears the marks of the beauty of her creation within her ability to sing and move hearts. Once she began, no one noticed how plain appearing she is. She suddenly took on a beauty that was, up to that moment in time, unseen. But when the beauty poured forth from her soul as the song began, the beauty of God shone through bright and clear. Few people may have recognized it as such but that does not make it any less truthful. Susan Boyle is a reflection of God's beauty and loving care of His children.

Now most of us do not have the same stunning talent as Susan Boyle but we do all have certain talents and abilities that are remarkable in their own right that reflect the beauty of God in our lives. The mother who gently tucks her little ones to bed at night in such a way so as to instill a sense of peace and security in her offspring is yet another aspect of the beauty of God. The father who softly cuddles his daughter in his arms after a disappointment at school so the sense of rejection she may be experiencing melts away into his heart is an aspect of the beauty of God. The willingness of the nursing home worker, woefully underpaid, who pauses for an extra moment in between changing bed pans and linens to listen to a memory or two of a lonely widower who lost his wife of fifty-plus years is the softness of the beauty of God.

If we think hard enough, I am sure that we could all come up with our own examples. The point to all of this is, is that we all reflect the beauty of God in our own ways. We must always keep this in mind in dealing with even the most impossible people. They, too, have this reflection! In a world filled with self-centeredness and sarcasm, it was so refreshing to see someone like Susan Boyle take center stage and serve as a reminder to us of the abounding beauty of God in humanity. Revel in it and rejoice in it. It will keep things in perspective!