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Monday, May 15, 2017

Average Beauty

     For sixteen years I have gone to the annual Carl G. Fisher Elementary School Talent Show. 
      The program is not rehearsed, or, at least, it doesn’t appear to be.  My favorite assistant principal, Kevin Bourke, can’t get the sound right, though he tries.  Just in case Kevin reads this article I should say the acoustics were actually much better this year.  Give him the most improved award.
      The larger staff got into the spirit of things this year by doing a line dance as a show-stopping finale.  It wasn’t bad, though the entire town can, again, be thankful that Mr. Bourke pursued a degree in administration rather than in the performing arts.
      Seriously, I don’t want this to sound like I’m anything but admiring of the whole show.  There’s an occasional noteworthy piano recital or comedic act. Yet, mostly the show involves average kids doing average things in an average way.
      It is beautiful. 
     But I noticed something far more impressive this year.  It is an attitude which has been long-cultivated by the staff, but this year it needed no reminder.  The kids, who chose not to participate in the show were amazingly supportive. 
      When I was a child and about to attempt something new, I was told by peers that I was going to “make a fool of myself.”  They may have been trying to do me a Simon Cowell-type favor and steer me to my better gifts.  But at Fisher a student will have the whole student body simply as a cheering section. 
     It is absolutely beautiful.
     Is there anything uglier than sneering at a person’s attempt to find and express beauty and meaning? We experience sneers as ugly because God counts a faithful try as a perfect performance.  Christ, the author and finisher of our act, opens our eyes to how much pride he takes in our giving our very best shot.  There is a freedom in knowing that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses from all ages who cheer us average people who dare to believe our average try will be eternally significant.