So I awoke this morning, took a run (this is a new development that may not last long), ate some breakfast, and then sat down to see what the world of social media had for me to feast upon.
I usually wake up to a newsfeed full of what I missed while I was sleeping. Today was no different. I awoke to a ton, more than I really expected since I had no idea that they were happening, of posts about the VMAs. N’sync’s appearance (which then led to a 30 minute conversation with a friend about who N’sync and The Backstreet Boys are) and Miley Cyrus dominated the conversation. Among all of this chatter, I found this video.
Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love musical theater. Now, I’m not some crazy fan girl who can tell you all about famous broadway actors, and what’s playing on Broadway right now, but I do have a fondness for it. I might be found guilty of having a considerable amount of musical theater music in my iTunes. So of course when I saw the link for this video on my newsfeed, posted by a music teacher I know, I was interested.
I watched. And I was touched. When the woman gets on the stage, she’s so excited. Then, when she lays her head upon Kristin Chenoweth, I grinned. When she opened her mouth to sing, my heart went with her. It was really touching.
I mean really, who gets to do that? What everyday person gets the chance to do that? Truly, it made my day.
Then I went down to the comments for the video.
Big mistake. Always a big mistake.
There are people calling her a plant. Saying that she was just ‘too good’. Others on there were defending her, and more saying that it was total crap because it wasn’t real.
I found myself thinking, have we lost our sense of wonder? Have we lost so much of our humanity and love for fellow man that we can’t just take the journey?
Whether she was a plant, which I certainly think she wasn’t, or she was a lucky lucky person that was granted a lovely opportunity, why do we have to assume that it’s too good to be true?
Have we lost our ability to wonder?
Though it may be naive of me to think that something so chance and lovely could happen, I want to believe in it. I want to believe that precious things, like being granted the chance to sing with your favorite broadway star, can happen.
Sometimes I feel like when Jesus says that we need to have the faith of children to enter the kingdom of God, He’s talking about moments like this. He’s talking about being able to accept the lovely moments when they come. He’s talking about taking joy in the random wonders of the world. In the wonder of bubbles, sunshine, and puppies. He’s certainly not talking about our necessity to criticize, scrutinize, and critique our fellow man. Children accept people. They love people, even ones they shouldn’t. Even ones that have hurt them. Children are open to the world, and want to grab every single moment and opportunity to bask in the wonder of the world. They don’t hold on to grudges, often a simple ‘I’m sorry’ can land you back into their good graces.
Now, I know that in other concerts, and certainly on tv shows, people are plants. They come with scripts and prepared answers and questions. They are planted for our enjoyment, for our entertainment (whatever that means).
If you watch the video, I mean really watch it, and forget about if she’s singing the song correctly and if the harmonies are on. Look past that, leave your doubt at the door, and watch how the two of them interact with one another. Watch how truly excited this woman is to be up there. Take the journey with her. I think that you too will think there’s no way that this is acting, and if it is, it’s a very very good job.
To watch something like this simple video, even if you don’t know who Kristin Chenoweth is or Wicked or whatever. To witness this moment that is probably so dear to this woman somehow melts the heart. I’m not a person who cries easily, I’d say (though I certainly used to be), but I was almost a little teary.
My sister, of whom monuments will one day be built for for her emotional fortitude and ability to cut people out of her life, watched it while I was on Skype with her, and even she, with a heart that loves no person in this world more than her dog, was on the journey. She was awwing and grinning. When I told her that a lot of people thought that this woman was a plant, she said that she understood why, but even my sister could recognize the raw emotion of that lady in the moment.
I certainly hope that we haven’t become a society that is blind to real emotion. I know that we’ve been duped and tricked many times by really fabulous actors. But I certainly hope that the doubt that accompanies the posts claiming she’s a plant, can still be moved by the video. That these folks can still be filled with wonder at even the tiniest possibility that that woman had just been given the opportunity of her dreams. Because if we can’t recognize real emotion when it’s staring us in the face, if we’re so jaded that we believe that everyone is out to trick us, then it will be a sadder world than we have ever had before.
I encourage each of you to go check out the video (with over a million views, I’d say it’s viral), and open your heart to go on the journey of the school teacher that is singing with one of her favorite stars. Dream the impossible dreams people, don’t lose wonder, keep your mind, eyes, and heart open to the wonder and majesty of this world and our beautiful faith.
Read Sarah Horn’s account of this duet here.