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A lesson from "Britain's Got Talent"

A Christian Science perspective.

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The Internet has been buzzing recently with a video clip from "Britain's Got Talent," a television program similar to "American Idol." In a world of sound bytes and put-downs, the video gave me a glimpse of how I can do a better job of being my "brother's keeper," being better at caring for others and lifting others up. And it reminded me, too, about God's loving presence everywhere.

If you missed it, Susan Boyle is a modest, middle-aged woman from a small Scottish village. Her amazing singing voice, coming after her unimpressive verbal introduction, surprised and awed the judges and audience. Their response changed from derision and skepticism to wild enthusiasm and joy.

While this was wonderful to witness, I saw it as more than just a human response. To me, the audience's changed response was evidence of a universal family of brothers and sisters and a living, good God. And it showed how quickly evidence of judgment or disinterest can change to acceptance and support.

What was the catalyst for the change? How did it come about? I believe it came about through the expression of spiritual qualities. Often this is how God is made evident to us, through honesty, beauty, courage, intelligence, strength. In Ms. Boyle's case, it was her wonderful expression of grace, goodness and even beauty – despite not fitting the traditional mold. That expression changed the audience. They became her friends! It was almost as if, in the presence of goodness, the spiritual nature of individuals in the audience was brought to the fore, resulting in caring and generosity. Seconds before, they had been critics, now they were her advocates.

"Advocate" is a strong word, and it has biblical underpinnings. It denotes one who is on your side, one who pleads your cause. If a case is brought against you in a court of law, the defense attorney is your advocate. He argues on your behalf.

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