Susan Boyle - An Act of God

     For years she sang her songs in obscurity. She faithfully took care of her aging mother. She volunteered at her church and all the while she harbored a dream that someday she could be a professional singer. But the clock was ticking and her years multiplied past the youthful season that the world finds so attractive.
     But God was watching. He saw her faithfulness to her loving mother. He watched all those times she willing gave herself to Him as she served in her church. He took note of all those little acts of kindness that makes someone attractive to Him.
     So after a time of intense grieving in the wake of her beloved mother’s death, God looked upon this one that was in so much sorrow. He counted her tears and multiplied them into her heart’s desire and the dream came true.
     By now I hope everyone has learned of her story; how Susan Boyle, an average middle-aged woman walked upon the stage of “Britain’s Got Talent” television show and quickly turned a skeptical, jeering audience to a rapturously cheering fan club the minute she opened her mouth and began to sing.
     One of the judges who had just participated in the massive standing ovation said, “We were all being cynical…this was a wake-up call.” Susan’s triumph in front of the judges of the contest and those who had been judging her in the audience was a living illustration of a Biblical principle that God intends for us all - "Man looks upon the outward appearance, but God sees the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7). We have all been part of a beautifully orchestrated set-up for a divine punchline played out before the entire world.

     When Susan walked out upon that stage for the first time, she was God’s “Least of These” although no one could see the queen abiding in that middle-aged disguise except the One who had engineered her victory at this particular moment in His perfect timing. God communicates with us in many ways and this particular parable is one of them. And it goes beyond the obvious lesson we’ve just discussed.
     Susan’s choice of song was “I Dreamed a Dream” from “Les Misérables,” a musical based on Victor Hugo’s famous novel about social injustice. I’m sure Susan chose the song because it would show her range and what she could accomplish musically. But I believe God had other motives as He led her to make this selection, for it was the perfect compliment to the lesson He was hoping we would learn. There is a world full of people like Susan, who are so special in His eyes, yet they are despised and rejected; victims of a world whose standards are so far removed from the heart of our Creator.
     We hear in the words of the song Susan sang, the cry of a woman, Victor Hugo’s Fantine, a beautiful, virtuous girl who fell and was abandoned by a man she loved. Her shame produced an illegitimate child and as she struggled to provide for her daughter, Cosette, she cried, “I thought God would be forgiving.” He forgives, but we all must live with the consequences of our actions. Yet, her misery is compounded by the lack of compassion and the dishonesty of the people she desperately needs to support her in her time of need, which leads her into more sin and her death.
     We listen to the words of the song Susan is singing and while we are being awed by the beautiful gift of her voice, a gift that turned our hearts from judging to loving acceptance, let’s continue meditating on the lesson as the days go by. The world isn’t that much different than the one that is described by the French author’s pen. Victor Hugo saw a world of Fantines needing our help. He saw the needs of the oppressed, of “The Least of These” and he tried to open our eyes so that maybe some of us would care enough to make things better for someone else.
     As Susan sings, let’s listen to the words of the song and remember where it came from. Let’s never forget this parable and applaud an act of God.

copyright 2009 by H.D. Shively

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