But what makes her story unique isn’t her voice (as good as it was), and it isn’t even the fact that she comes from a collection of small villages probably from some remote area. What makes her story unique is that the extraordinary talent is coming from someone like “her”.
From all accounts, the hosts of the show, as well as the audience had clearly written her off even before she began. They considered her a joke. Why? Because she didn’t measure up to the popular image of what a someone with a great voice should look like. She didn’t have dazzling clothes, a professional hairstyle, or a makeup team. She was plain looking, well into her 40’s, and didn’t look like a model with an eating disorder. Because of this, the expectations of the audience were at an all time low. They laughed when she came on the stage and were expecting to laugh her off the stage. But their expectations were wrong.
I’m happy for Susan Boyle. I’m glad that after years of encouragement she had the nerve to get on the show. I’m glad that she sang her heart out and mesmerized the audience. I’m glad that she sang as well as she did and received the applause that she deserved. I’m glad that she is now receiving recognition after years of singing privately. It’s great to see a human being achieve a dream, and so she should, and we are all happy with her.
But there is a disturbing part of this story as well, and that’s the reality that we are quick to judge people by their appearance. Too short, too tall, too slim, too heavy, too plain, too many crooked teeth, no designer clothes, no fancy hairdo, no expensive car, and the list goes on. We might not verbalize these judgments, but they are often there. Why? Because our culture is obsessed with “beauty”. What if Susan Boyle’s talent was just “average”? Would that make her less of a person? Would that make her less valuable as a human being? Clearly the hosts of the show as well as the audience would think so. We should not make the same mistake. Whether she could sing or not, she is still a human being made in the image of God. That alone should give us reason to stand and applaud.
YouTube Video of Susan Boyle Singing
The Story of Susan Boyle
“God Sees Me” by Barbara Moulton
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7