Tuesday, April 5, 2011

We Need a Bigger Stage!

I have enjoyed Christian singer, Mandisa's music so much this past year. Last Sunday our pastor shared the "behind-the-scenes-story" of her rocky start on American Idol.

In season five, I remember the time Simon Cowell remarked behind her back after she left the stage, "We're gonna need a bigger stage!"

Any woman knows that remarks about our weight hurt. Hearing it later on national television had to be even more difficult for her.

Later though, Mandisa's response reflected God's grace and love. When on the final cut for American Idol, before receiving the news she was in the final twenty, she spoke directly to Simon.

Telling him how she was hurt and yes, he made her cry, she told him with that sweet genuine smile that she forgave him. She said he did not have to apologize to receive her forgiveness because if Jesus could forgive her of her sins, who was she not to forgive Simon for his hurtful remarks?

Simon, in a rare moment, was humbled. He said that he felt small and asked for a hug. She said what caused that humble response so unusual from him was that Simon did not expect to meet Jesus when he walked into the room that day. She reflected Jesus' love and forgiveness.

Like other contestants, she could have complained, whined, and even sought revenge on Simon via the media or her own remarks. Instead, she forgave.

More recently, last night, on Dancing with the Stars (yes, I watch some trash t.v. sometimes) Kirstie Allie and her partner fell on the dance floor on live television. Like Mandisa, Kirstie has talked about her weight struggles and I am sure felt the fall related to her weight. (I relate to that struggle so much). I will be interested in seeing the responses tonight and how that is handled via the media.

It will be played again, I am certain. -More than once. Why? Because each of us relates to a fall. Seeing it happen to famous people, on a nationwide broadcast pulls us even more into the drama.

How others handle a fall, whether real or metaphorically, speaks to us, to our children. More importantly, how we handle rude comments, angry responses, whining, complaining, or even falling, speaks to our children and to their children's children as our reactions are passed on from generation to generation.

One friend recently sent me a challenge to fast, but not from food (thank goodness:)). It is to fast from complaining, whining, spending, and many other more difficult yet God-focused methods to remember Jesus' sacrifice before Good Friday. I will try. May I remember Jesus' love and forgiveness like Mandisa and chose, no matter how hurt, to reflect His love, his mercy.

"Why are you so downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God" (Psalm 42 and 43).

Praise be to God,
For His Glory,

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