An unlikely star has risen out of a village in Scotland. Her name is Susan Boyle, and she is a forty-seven year old, unemployed woman who lived with and cared for her ailing mother until the woman’s death, a couple of years ago. She’s never been married. Never been kissed.
She recently walked onto a stage in Glasgow as a contestant in “Britain’s Got Talent.” The winner of the show, which is similar to our own “American Idol,” will perform for the queen.
The packed audience mocked Susan, laughing and pointing at her unruly hair and her less-than-svelte appearance. Even the judges rolled their eyes when she revealed her age. When asked who she would like to be as famous as, she replied, “Elaine Paige,” a British actress and performer. The audience roared with laughter.
When asked why she hasn’t become famous before now, she smiled and said, “I’ve never been given the chance before. But here’s hoping that’ll change.”
The music began, and the three judges tried to look sympathetic. But their cynicism clearly reflected the mood of the entire audience. They were expecting to sit through several minutes of torturous, off-key singing. Everyone was.
And then, Susan opened her mouth to reveal the voice of a trained professional. Her performance was stellar. Within seconds, she had turned the audience in her favor. The judges, too. By mid-song, everyone was on their feet, whooping and hollering and cheering. Honestly, I don’t know how she stayed on key – she must have had trouble hearing the music with all the cheers. But with a smile on her face, with every note exactly on pitch, she finished the song and brought the house down.
Then, the unassuming little woman brought more laughter as she blew a kiss and began to exit the stage – even before the judges had their say. Only this time, the laughter wasn’t mocking. It was delighted laughter at a beloved, adorable woman who had, in one fell swoop, captured the hearts of millions. She was shooed back onstage to receive the best reviews in the history of the show, and was given the thumbs up from all three judges to proceed to the next round of the competition.
Along with the delight of the judges and the audience, however, was a bit of shame. They – we – had judged her too quickly. We had mocked her.
She showed us, didn’t she?
She silenced our mocking, jeering sneers with her pure, sweet voice. And like one of the judges said, “No one is laughing now.”
Sometimes, we’re a little too quick to judge, aren’t we?
Susan’s story reminds me of another story I’ve heard. It’s the story of One who has been mocked. His words have been scorned. His ways have been called “outdated.”
He doesn’t look like the world wants Him to look. He doesn’t try to be fashionable, or cover up who He really is. He doesn’t change His appearance or His standards to please the crowd. He’s very up-front about His identity. What you see is what you get.
Yet, we often don’t give Him the credit He deserves. We laugh and accuse Him of being weak, when He is all-powerful. We accuse Him of being a relic, when He is timeless. We assume He is cruel and judgemental, when He is actually loving, compassionate and merciful.
We have been known to laugh at Him and thumb our noses at His wisdom.
But rest assured, my friends. God will not be mocked.
One day, He will show us.
One day, the King of Kings will make His presence known to all the world, and we will be stunned. Many of us, I’m afraid, will be shamed.
On that day, our eyes will be opened, and we will see once and for all just how awesome, how brilliant, how incredibly amazing God is.
Only then, instead of bringing us to our feet, He will bring us all to our knees as every tongue confesses that He is Lord.
Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.”