Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
A few weeks ago an email came to me. It said, “You have got to watch this, it gave me goose bumps!” love Anne. So despite the odds of me watching it, (as I delete a lot of those messages) I watched it. It was an English program which provides unknown people who think they have talent to perform.
A somewhat middle aged woman, with gray wavy hair, a somewhat maternal appearance was to perform. She said that she hoped to be like “woman’s name” (that I did not know) someday with her voice. She did not strike me from her appearances as someone who could be famous. The audience laughed out loud at the woman’s dream, the stars judging the woman rolled their eyes and I questioned the possibility of her dreams.
As soon as the woman opened her mouth I felt so embarrassed at my quick judgment of this woman. She was awesome and I realized that this is what gave my friend goose bumps. The audience and the judges became very quick as this amazing woman’s voice left all of our judgments far behind and continued forward in beauty.
This was about two weeks ago, no longer is this woman an unknown, her name is Susan Boyle. I am still taken back by the whole experience of watching and listening to her. I still feel embarrassed by my arrogant quick judgment of her abilities to bring beauty and sound into a large auditorium.
As I read and listened to the April 26th gospel reading of the road to Emmaus, I thought about Susan Boyle. I thought about the powerful message that her voice and unassuming presence brought to so many of us who had written her abilities off, just by looking at her. It made me wonder what was it about the Risen Christ on that road that day, that the two disciples didn’t recognize Him. Was it their belief that they didn’t believe that Jesus the human was capable of being God/Man? Was it the clothes that He had on, or the appearance of His face? Even when they did recognize Him in the breaking of the bread, what was it about how he did it, that their eyes were opened?
This week with these questions in mind and my recent experience of judging Susan Boyle by her appearance, I wondered more often, “How often do I miss opportunities to meet the Risen Christ in the people that I judge by the number of tattoos or piercings they have? How often am I blinded by my busy schedule that I race past the One who is waiting for me to have lunch and visit?” As this Easter Season continues, I will judge less and be more open to the stranger on the road to Emmaus. And with the grace of God may I experience goose bumps as I encounter the Risen One in these unexpected encounters.