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Mandisa Living Out Her Faith on Idol
As part of my morning devotion I was watching Mandisa sing “It’s Only The World”. You remember Mandisa. Even if you’re not an American Idol watcher, clips of her response to Simon Cowell were played on nearly every station during the fifth season of an idol
Cowell, who was known for his sharp tongue insulting her on national television, wondered if they had a bigger stage this year to accommodate this overweight contestant. She was devastated because, as she said in an interview with Raquel Dunn,
“It was my worst fear coming true, because this is the biggest struggle of my life and because it’s something I feel so vulnerable about . For him to say that and for it to be broadcast on national television – I was devastated. the show wasn’t over, but a group of my friends gathered around me, and they started to pray for me, they started to pray for Simon, they asked the Lord to have mercy on him, and they started to ask the Lord to help me forgive Simon. I realized in that moment that this was about so much more than me and my hurt feelings.”
She told how an idol producers were setting her and the other contestants up for a conflict that would incite him Idol’s rating. They looked right at her and told her to get back out there and give him his due, and that they would cut out any words that weren’t “television friendly.” But she shocked the world with her response to Cowell.
Remember that Mandisa’s father abandoned her when she was only two years old. She always thought it was her fault that Dad had left. Then, at 16 years old, she was brutally raped. She self-comforted with food and that led to a food addiction. So, the obesity.
Women who are sexually abused often hide behind a protective wall of fat. The subconscious tells them that no one will wants to come close enough to break them if they are too fat. Mandisa was no different in that regard. But she there were different in how she responded to Simon Cowell’s meaningful words for millions to witness.
“You hurt me,” she said to Simon on that show. “It hurt. It really did. But I want you to know that I have forgiven you. You don’t have to apologize to someone to forgive someone. Forgiveness, I could sure to extend that same grace to you.”
The look on Simon’s face was priceless!
It was obvious that the snarky old man Cowell was completely disarmed. After he collected himself, he told her that he was completely humbled and asked her to lift him up with respect for her Christ-like spirit. This was one of the best moments ever on television!
I have thought about Mandisa ever since. And now that she has a book out (Idol eyes), I am even more grateful for the testimony she showed in front of the viewers.
As I said before, I don’t like to watch an idol for many reasons. Apart from the pain of watching people humiliate themselves on television, I am also the same an idol the bloodthirsty audience of the Roman Gladiator Games. So Mandisa’s Christ-like response to Cowell was even more profound because he was in that kind of mood.
She did exactly as Jesus taught in Luke 6:27-28.
“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who despitefully use you.”
She didn’t wait for Cowell ask for forgiveness! She did exactly what Christ told his followers to do. When she realized this was about much more than her hurt feelings, she applied her faith in Jesus Christ for the whole world to witness.
I guess it would be redundant, at this point, to say that Mandisa is one of my heroes. But most importantly, God is pleased with her. She gives great pleasure to her Father, and in return, he frees her from self-defense. And she’s looking “fine” these days with weight loss, her book, her modeling career with Ashley Stewart, her CDs and all her loyal fans.
I am one of them.
©2007 April Lorier
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