More on Susan Boyle…

More information on the remarkable Susan Boyle, who I linked to in the post below and the story just gets nicer and nicer, and one just wants all good things to happen for her.

It seems that Simon Cowell’s people are already pursuing Boyle, who got a standing ovation from her church after her appearance on Britain’s Got Talent.

Before going on stage, Ms. Boyle admitted some self-deprecating facts about herself (she’s never been kissed and lives alone with her cat, Pebbles). For those reasons and more, audiences were expecting the female William Hung. They were wrong.

I called her “eccentric” yesterday and was scolded by a reader, but I didn’t mean the word negatively. I am often called “eccentric” myself, and usually use the term when I mean “endearingly unique.” Boyle more than makes my case when she, appalled at her appearance on tv, remarked that she looked “like a garage”.

Watching the ITV1 show in her council home in West Lothian, she wasn’t focusing on her amazing rendition of West End hit I Dreamed a Dream. She was too shocked at how she looked.

Speaking exclusively to the Mirror, Susan, 48, said last night: “They say that television makes you look fat and it certainly did. “I looked like a garage. It was mortifying to see and a bit of a shock. I didn’t realise I could reduce people to tears and I hope it wasn’t because of that.”

But Susan – who has never had a boyfriend and was bullied because of her appearance while growing up – is determined not to let it upset her.

She got a standing ovation when she walked into her local Catholic church for yesterday’s Easter service.

She said: “It was incredible. Although we sing in church, not a lot of them knew how good I was, so it was a bit of a shock to them. I’m a bit shy and retiring so they would never have known. It was very emotional.

“Everyone is very nice and it’s lovely when all the kids stop me in the street to congratulate me.”

How good! And what a great “don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” story. It’s a great lesson for all of us, both not to be hasty in thinking we know all about a person because of how he or she looks, but also that we not put off using our God-given gifts, simply because we’re afraid of what people will think of us – that we’re too fat, or too old, or too awkward. Screw that! As Buster said after watching the full-song video, “it doesn’t matter what the crowd thinks; if you can bring it, you shut them up in eight bars, and then they’re all for you.”

He’s right. Good for Susan Boyle, who brought it, in spades. I’d love to hear her sing without the crowd roaring, and without the backstage fellows carrying on, but then again – the reaction was understandable.

A Boyle-smitten reader
has sent in some trivia on her:

A lifelong Catholic, and one of the youngest of nine children, she cared for her aging parents while the rest of the family was out having a life. Her father died at a ripe old age about ten years ago and her mother died just two years ago. Miss Boyle has been in mourning for two years.

She’s a 47 year-old virgin and has never been kissed…and skipped mass for the first time in years in order to share her talent with the rest of us. In singing for Britain’s Got Talent, she fulfilled her mother’s last wish…for her mother wanted her God-given talent to shine before men for the glory of God.

Embedding is disabled on the unedited version – you have to go to youtube – but do take the time to do so. Some other great moments on Britain’s Got Talent, here.

You know, not to make it “all about me,” but watching the video for the first time last night, after the houseful of Easter company had left, the Boyle revelation almost felt like the final, reinforced Lenten lesson from the Holy Spirit. Last year, I learned all about my capacity to be hurtful. This year, I learned (a little) about being completely open to God and really trusting. I say “a little” because it’s clearly one of those life-long learning curves, but I have learned a bit this Lent – applicable in a million ways I can’t say here, but I touched on it once already. If I have learned nothing else from my short stint on In the Arena, it is (and I thank the Holy Spirit for the lesson) not to give a crap what anyone else thinks about my looks – as though that has any bearing on whether or not I have something to bring.

If you have something you do well, do it. If you want to study it, study it. Don’t let people and “the world” hold you back. One minute, “the world” is laying palms down at your feet, the next they’re calling for your death. What’s more fickle than “the world?” Dance and sing, write and ride, paint and learn, skip and dream before the Lord your God, and don’t care about anyone else’s judgments but His.

Bring what you have, and remember that some folks don’t even know what it is they can “bring,” so they may not understand you. Bless them, anyway. There is grace, and gift, there.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Hantchu

    Susan Boyle rocks! What a delightful singer, and what a delightful personality. Thanks for sharing this.

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  • KIA

    Imagine if we all pushed aside our pride and gave the world our “best gifts!” Could you even imagine if our politicians did that? Who could even guess what’s deep inside Barney Frank or Nancy Pelosi; that God given beauty they haven’t yet let us see.

  • Piano Girl

    I’ve heard and worked with a lot of singers in my life, but I don’t ever recall hearing one who evoked such emotion in me as I listened and felt the tears roll down my cheeks. I’m hoping this performance will open a whole new life for this dear woman ~ she has a gift from God.

  • Gayle Miller

    Listening to this remarkable woman sing likewise brought me to tears – but as to her appearance – that’s something cosmetic and easily fixed. She actually has quite a nice figure, good skin and a little work on her eyebrows and a better hairdo would make all the difference. She’s actually quite a nice looking woman – and you are oblivious to her looks in the thrall of THAT VOICE! I love the song and I love her delivery of it. And yes, she has a great God-given gift and her dear mother was right in encouraging her to share it with everyone!

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  • Mommynator

    I can’t watch videos here at work, but will check her out at home later.

    And thank you for those encouraging words. At 52 years old, I am going back to school to become a nurse practitioner. I originally started college wanting to be a doctor, but due to some ugly family circumstances, did not fulfill that. However, God has been so good to me and I have the opportunity to do it now, with my husband’s and children’s full support and encouragement.

    You are correct. One is never too old to fulfill God’s purpose or purposes (because even though thwarted, I sure learned a lot anyway on the way to now).

    One of my current favorite songs right now is by Brandon Heath – God’s Not Finished With Me.

  • KIA

    Gayle, don’t you think to “fix” her looks would defeat the whole story? Finally we get a “real women”, as God made her, and the world accept hers by seeing BEYOND our sterotypes of “beauty.”

    I don’t doubt that you mean well Gayle, not trying to debate you, just trying to savor the fact that FINALLY, this was NOT about physical beauty by wordly standards.

    I would doubt that if offered for free, a person like Susan would have any cosmetic surgery. That all part of what makes her SO beautiful, and what a role model!

  • Susan in Seattle

    Thank you for this video clip of Susan Boyle. I have watched it at least six times and come away “wowed” every time. She has a sparkling wit as well as an amazing voice.

  • Piano Girl

    KIA ~ there’s nothing wrong with Susan Boyle, should she choose to, getting some help to make HER feel better about how she looks. I’ve worked with many women over the years who begin to blossom and reach close to their full potential in life because they’ve made some changes in a little makeup or the way they dress. If Ms. Boyle doesn’t want to, that’s fine and good. But often, we don’t know what to do to let the outside match what beauty is on the inside. She wouldn’t need cosmetic surgery at all…I’d never consider that for myself.

    Mommynator ~ at age 52, my dream job fell into my lap. I’d been reading a wonderful book “Simple Abundance” by Saran Ban Breathnach (pronounced Bon Bronnack) that had helped me realize I had much God-given potential, and that if I didn’t pursue some of it, I would reach the end of my days with some deep regrets. So, despite a two hour drive each way (I only work 3 days a week), with fear & trembling, I said “yes” to a college teaching position. I’m in a job that I love, doing what it is I was put on Earth to do. My girls thought it was wonderful ~ hubby not quite so sure, since there were a lot of life-style changes for him in the whole setup.

  • cathyf

    My husband maintains that if you look at any church choir or community chorus in America, you will find at least one (and usually more) people who sing as well as any professional. I’ve certainly had the joy of singing alongside a few of them!

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  • pajama momma

    My husband and I watched the youtube video of this woman on Saturday, by the time it was over, she had the two of us in tears….I get the chills even now thinking of her.

  • Hantchu

    Mommynator–You Go. Girl! I went back to school with 2 toddlers to do my RN. You’ll be delighted with how much of your real life experience puts you ahead of the crowd. Besides, nursing skills are relevant to the human condition, even if nursing school is generally a bain in the neck. Go, Mommynator, Go!

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  • Mommynator

    Piano Girl and Hantchu – thank you for the encouragement. I will be looking up that book since I do have days where I wonder what I’m doing. My current Anatomy and Physiology professor went back to school with six children and a full time job, and she too has been an inspiration and encouragement.

    And yes, real life experience often trumps the ignorance I’ve been seeing – even among women in their 30s and 40s – and the lack of curiousity and wonder about the human body beyond “Is this going to be on the final?” How do you study cellular respiration or muscle cells and not be overawed by it all?

    I’m so thrilled for Ms. Boyle and her opportunity. She’s going up on my wall of heroes (and heroines) who have taken a lifetime to get to where they are supposed to be without wallowing in the potential bitterness and tears of a supposedly thwarted life. And we don’t have to look very far in the Bible, either – people like Moses and Abraham (and Sara), and didn’t Jesus even have to wait until He was 30 to start His ministry.


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