Saturday, April 18, 2009

"We were against you": Consider beauty in all the right places

Last weekend, Susan Boyle was just a face in the crowd.

This weekend, clips of her singing on Britain's Got Talent have notched up almost 50 million views on YouTube. Her face appears on the front pages of papers in Britain and beyond, she been offered a seat on Oprah's sofa and has been told she is as good as guaranteed a worldwide number one album. The rise of the 47-year-old spinster from Scotland has been a true global phenomenon.

Last Saturday, viewers saw Boyle, with double chin, unkempt hair, frumpy appearance and eccentric demeanour, step onto the talent show stage and proclaim her dream of being a professional singer.

The judges rolled their eyes and the audience pulled incredulous faces. Onlookers, on set and at home, were rubbing their hands at the prospect of another hopeless, deluded loser being crushed by a withering Simon Cowell insult.

Then she opened her mouth and sang I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables.

Her voice confounded all expectations - the judges' eyes bulged, the crowd went wild and Boyle became an instant star.


Watch the clip that is sweeping the world here. (Cannot embed, it's been disabled)

Earlier this week I wrote about God's creation and how satan distracts us from considering true beauty. Later in the week I learned of an experiment the Washington Post conducted with world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell, who played in a subway to see if anyone would stop and notice the quality of his playing, on a Stradivarius no less. Few stopped to consider the beautiful music.

In comes Susan Boyle, the third installment of the Consider Beauty series, which I did not know would be come a series, Praise Him! Miss Boyle is not traditionally beautiful. She has labored for the Lord tirelessly in a forgotten corner of Scotland, caring for her invalid mother. She is overweight, lives with her cat Pebbles, and is unemployed. She has never married nor ever been kissed, she said (though that is not an advert, she also said, lol). She has dreamed of singing in front of an audience for 35 years. As she walked out on stage the judges rolled their eyes and mocked her with their posture. So did the audience.

Then she sang. As the gorgeous notes rolled out and into the hearts of all those in the world, the world wonders why we love Susan Boyle. Many bloggers discuss the sociological implications of excessive focus on beauty, of how Miss Boyle is a regular person, how she is an underdog. She is all these things but that is not the answer. Her voice is God-given, and it is beautiful. God sees all of us that way, beautiful inside, with talent and personality and love. He sees not the frumpy dress, the unkempt hair. He sees the gorgeous notes inside of us.

Stop and consider the beauty in each person as you pass along today. Try to see them the way God sees us, in perfect love. One of the judges, in a clumsy attempt at an apology, said that when Miss Boyle waled out on the stage, "We were against you." In all places, where a person's dreams are on the line before millions watching and their vulnerabilities exposed, the judges and audience deemed Miss Boyle as wanting, before she even sang. Praise our Lord, who accepts us as we are, the beautiful and the ugly, the thin and the fat, the clumsy and the graceful. He loves us, judges our heart, not our face. He endows each of us with God-given beauty. Stop to consider it.

Soon when He comes we will see all our brothers and sisters as He does. Praise Him that we have an opportunity to get a glimpse of the inner beauty in Susan Boyle beforehand. Soon we will all look like her. Beautiful.

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