In 2009, an unknown and unemployed 47-year old woman took the stage on the popular show, Britain’s Got Talent. She wasn’t the Hollywood glamorous type and the audience made no attempt to hide their opinion. But when Susan Boyle began to sing, those who tended to pre-judge were astounded. She didn’t embarrass herself but instead, the music that filled that hall could only have been matched by the music of the angels in heaven. It was divine in every way.
Watching Susan Boyle reminded me of how often I have judged people by the package alone; I was reminded how often I look at things from human eyes rather than through the eyes of God. It reminded me of the prophet Samuel who went looking to anoint a king from among the sons of a man named Jesse. Samuel may have missed out on God’s best if the decision was left up to him; he was ready to anoint the first contestant that met his standard.
In total, seven brothers were paraded before the prophet, any of which could have made a fine king if Samuel was making the call. But Samuel wasn’t doing the judging, just the anointing, and he could only see skin deep. There was one brother named David left for consideration, and he was out tending to animals. This ordinary boy was perhaps a potential embarrassment to the rest of his family since he was never mentioned until asked. After all, David’s closest associates were sheep. So, who would God choose?
As we know, God chose David, a man who others had not even placed in the running. And once again, I am reminded that God does not measure worth or talent or beauty by outward appearance.
I wonder if Jesus had David or Susan in mind when He spoke to those who were on the mountain listening to Him. I wonder if Jesus was simply reminding them not to make a judgment based on outward appearances but rather to look through the same lens God looks though. I wonder what would happen in our communities if we lived the words Jesus spoke about judging each other. I wonder…