On “The Voice”

I have watched some of a TV show called “The Voice.” I was surprised by how moved I was by something called the blind auditions. The judges (this year Blake Sheldon, Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Williams, Adam Levine) sit with their backs to the singers. If they like the singer and want to coach the singer, they hit a button that swings their chair around.

Admittedly, some of the contestants have had some minor success as singers, but often there are some who have sung only in church or for loose change on city streets. As they sing, the camera often cuts to show parents or friends off-stage who are anxiously hoping for a chair to turn. For outstanding singers, all four judges might turn.

When four chairs turn, each judge takes a couple minutes to explain why the contestant should choose him or her to be their coach. The coaches tell the singers how talented they, how beautiful their voices are, and how much they want them. They fight to get these undiscovered singers on their team. Silly as it seems, this makes me really happy.

As these stars fight over the contestants, the singers are awakened to their worth as a singer. “If these artists want me, my talent must be real,” they think. Oddly, this reminded me of a line from the Christmas song “O Holy Night” that says when Christ appeared “the soul felt its worth/A thrill of hope—the weary world rejoices.” When the chairs turn, you see the singer light-up with joy. Off-stage the parents are ecstatic to see their child’s talent and years of music lessons rewarded and their hopes vindicated.

And it is so refreshing to see these famous stars begging to be chosen—asking for the privilege of teaching and coaching. Almost washing the feet of . . . And then it dawned on me. I was getting a glimpse of grace. A glimpse of a God who not only turned his chair for me, but his heart, and left his chair for a cross. A God who turned his chair and then taught me to sing.

About Mark

I live in Myrtle Point, Oregon with my wife Teckla and am the father of four boys. Currently I teach writing and literature at Southwest Oregon Community College. I am a graduate of Myrtle Point High School, Northwest Nazarene College, and have a Masters in English from Washington State University.
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