"Keep scribbling! Something will happen." Frank McCourt

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Judging...talent


I love talent shows. You should know that about me. I'm not really picky about my source of talent. It can be a school play, a county fair, a church program, or a TV show; I will watch people who think they have talent. 

A week ago Tuesday night on America’s Got Talent, I watched several (previously) homeless people harmonize as a group. Many were veterans of wartime. Others had known bad luck. One man had been homeless for over twenty years before he found the right place, here on earth, that helped him help himself. That night they sang with heart and talent bringing tears to those in the audience.

One of the group said, they had been people that we (the audience) wouldn’t want to be around.

Me?
Homeless people scare me sometimes- a little- mostly because I don't want to know the life they live or what they go through every day. But consider this, a homeless person:
  • Was someone’s baby,
  • May have defended your country for you,
  • Prays to God,
  • Has a dream,
  • Laughs,
  • Gets frightened,
  • Is lonely,
  • Cries,
  • Feels hated,
  • Gets hungry,
  • wants to be loved.
This made me think of my own responsibility to care for others. I’m not saying to go out and invite danger into your home. I'm not telling you to give away your riches. I’m just saying maybe we should care a little more for those we don't know (whether in need or not) with... a smile, lunch, a blanket, or a bottle of water. Kindness.  It shouldn't be that difficult to care for people we don’t know, since we don't know their baggage- right? We don't know them, so how can we judge them, right? After all, we love our family and friends and know lots of stuff about them.

Sometimes, when I see someone that doesn't fit MY bill, and I shy away from them or don't want to be bothered with them, I hear a whisper, "Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering."  (Hebrews 13: 1-3 NIV)

Judging isn't really my job -unless it's for talent.

Photo source: scottveltkamp.com at Google Images

18 comments:

  1. Loved this post - so very true. If only we all tried a little harder...

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  2. You would like my new novel that's coming out later this year. It is titled, "Beware the Devil's Hug". The adblurb goes like this:

    What if an ugly, smelly, unkempt old homeless man had a hug so powerful it could cure cancer? Cause a prostitute to stop hooking and seek true love? Cast the demons of addiction out of a junkie? Make a radical terrorist Muslim want to befriend and love a Christian and visa versa? But rare is the beneficiary of his diving embrace ... no one will go near him out of fear.

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  3. Great POST!!! Especially today since so many around us--in FL at least--are finding themselves homeless because of the economy and foreclosures. I know when we became unemployed, it has made us look at life and those around us in hurting situations so much differently and I worked 20 years with people who were homeless!

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  4. Very moving post. You make a point that we need to consider. I think for the most part, we all shy away from this responsibility. Thanks for the reminder.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  5. Eternally, Thanks. These posts always speak to me first - or that might be the voices. :)

    Marvin, I love it. I want to read it.

    Terri, Because "normal" (if there is such a thing) people are ending up homeless these days, I am hoping we look at this problem differently as something we all need to address with kindness and not fear.

    Mason, Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it.

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  6. There are so many sad situations we can face, and you're so right in that it's the smallest of gestures, a smile, a water, that make a heartfelt connection. Thanks for the reminder.

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  7. I was just thinking about how our culture places people in a certain hierarchy in life. I have fallen into this judgement, slowly retraining my thoughts on this. Great and loving thoughts.

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  8. Great point, Teresa--we all need to remember that these folks have their own talents and passions, too...they've so much more in common with us than sometimes we want to admit.

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  9. This is a great post. Everyone needs to not just know the word "compassion", but to also be able to apply it to those they cross in life.

    At any point in our lives we could be in situations where we could use a helping had, a kind word, a meal, a dollar, and especially a prayer.

    Angela

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  10. You're right - only God is supposed to judge.

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  11. What a great post, and reminder that we're all part of a whole. Simply offering a smile can often be enough to tell that truth.

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  12. Loved this post, Teresa.
    Great thoughts and attitude! We are all human beings; we should not forget that and yes, only God is supposed to judge.
    This post is a great reminder too!
    Love and hugs!
    B xx

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  13. So true. We don't know what pains they endure or what suffering still haunts them. We can only be God's heart to them.

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  14. Very thought provoking and well said.

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  15. Hi Teresa .. it's so true isn't it - just because they're on the street, or brawling, or drunk .. doesn't mean there isn't any good in there at all .. it's their situation unfortunately & the cards they've been dealt that haven't offered them the opportunity for a better life.

    Good thoughts for us all to think about .. a smile will help - rather than ignoring them.

    Thanks - Hilary

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  16. This is such a beautiful post. Thank you for the reminder to love one another.

    - Corra

    the victorian heroine

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  17. Teresa....about 2 years back a talented opera singer (he had sung with Joan Sutherland an Australian operatic Diva) took on a mammoth task. He walked the streets of Melbourne and spoke to the homeless and asked a simple question "Would you be interested in forming a choir?"

    There followed the most remarkable story documented on TV,and the birth of "The Choir of Hard Knocks"

    Anyone who followed the series, bought the CD or were lucky enough to get seats at the concerts they performed in Melbourne at the Town Hall, and in Sydney at the amazing Opera House, were blown away by the purity of the voices....many moved to tears (as I was) as these people were transformed by this venture,regaining their self respect.

    Jonathan Welch was the person who recognised this fact and helped many of them back to a producive life. Self respect was what they had lost, and it's a reminder to us all that with self respect you can conquer many things!

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  18. I read that one out of ten people in Michigan are facing foreclosure, so it is time we had more patience for those who are struggling. I'm just one or two pay checks away. .

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