Faith lessons from the Susan Boyle video hit

Oregon author Jeannie St. John Taylor weighs in on the internet video sensation of Susan Boyle which has been viewed by an astonishing 30 million viewers.

By Jeannie St. John Taylor ©
Oregon Author of Prayer for Troubled Times

Have you seen Susan Boyle, the suddenly-famous contestant from Britain’s Got Talent? She’s been on most English-speaking news shows around the globe over the last few days. Have you heard her sing?  Until she walked onto the stage of the talent show April 11th she was a forty-seven-year-old nobody from an unknown Scottish village – unemployed, unmarried, un-kissed, unattractive.

When she stated her age, the judges rolled their eyes and smirked; undisguised disdain played across faces in the audience. Her decision to perform was more than unconventional, it was unwanted. At that point everyone in the auditorium stood against her, as one judge later commented.

But the instant she opened her mouth and that unexpectedly amazing voice burst forth everything changed. Listeners’ eyes were opened to the splendor inside the woman and their collective judgment of her transformed from unacceptable to acceptable. Approval and admiration softened faces; people stood to applaud, arms overhead.

Wonderful, wasn’t it? I cried. I’m not completely certain why. I think Susan’s voice caused my tears, but it also had something to do with seeing the change in the audience when they awakened to the woman as God sees her.

On a news report this morning I heard the judges commenting that no make-over is planned. They appreciate Susan’s humble personality and refer to her lack of concern over appearance as part of her unique charm.

But what if Susan had never sung? What if they’d bumped into her on the street and seen only her middle-aged waistline and eccentric personality? Would she have been invisible to them? Worse, would they have ridiculed her behind her back? Would they have ignored her?
Would I?

Do I understand that the way we all view Susan now is the way God views each of us? He sees the hidden inner treasure formed in his image as a sparkling crown in his hand.

What a shame that I so often miss the treasure inside others because I’m busy judging on outward appearance, personality, intellect, status, misbehavior, accomplishments — any number of other unimportant criteria.

I wonder . . .  how often I have overlooked God’s jewels? How does that make God feel?

Is this a lesson I’ll remember?

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