She held the audience captive until their hands burst into thunderous applause. Her voice was smooth as a lazy river when the words were contemplative, yet strong as a summer storm when she was belting out lyrics that captured the essence of her turbulent past. At twenty-four years young Suzee was enjoying her childhood dream of seeing her name in lights and her face on popular magazine covers. But that just wasn’t enough anymore.
Resembling a scientist staring into a microscope, Suzee studied her reflection. While stripping off the stage makeup she leaned in closer to her image. Silent tears became violent sobs before she hurled the cold cream jar at the glass.
“Suzee, you okay in there?”
Like her discarded stage dress, she lay in a limp heap on the floor. “No,” was her muffled reply. Logan charged through the dressing room door scooping his sister into his brotherly arms, just like he’d often done in their tender years. He’d always had s strong sense of obligation to watch over his little sis--which is why she chose him to manage her vocal career. On the floor he rocked her like a baby combing her silky brown hair with his thick fingers until the crisis passed.
With a bewildered expression she gently pushed away from her brother. “What’s the matter with me, Logan? I got what I set out to get--money, celebrity status, a sporty car, and a lovely home with an upscale address--but when I walk off that stage, I feel hollow.”
Extending a hand to help his sister up, Logan almost whispered his advice. “I think it’s time to forgive them. Dad and Mom just couldn’t work out their problems. Dad’s gambling, Mom’s drinking--they pushed each other’s buttons and we got caught in the wake of their addictions. They tried to love us as best they could.”
“That’s so like you to come to their defense. You’re heart’s as big as you are, and I love you for it. But forgive years of neglect, never being able to have friends over--then losing the few I had when we got evicted--and the final blow of abandonment--that’s expecting too much.”
Reaching into his back jeans pocket, Logan handed Suzee a folded pamphlet which he’d been given at the homeless shelter where he volunteered.
“Something that I think will help you resolve some of your anger. Read it, please.”
Two days later while exploring some of God’s exquisite creation, Suzee announced, “I did it. I read your little pamphlet. Don’t get your hopes up, but it kinda makes sense. Even looked up the Bible references--the stuff on forgiveness and healing.”
Turning down an old country lane Logan parked his Jeep by a small brook. Suzee spread their picnic over an old quilt and picked up the discussion.
“Do you think one of those groups would help me? The ones where people just get together to talk about their shattered lives. All the singing I do about it hasn’t really helped much. Would you go with me, Logan?”
His gentle eyes lit up and his crooked smile was a mile wide. “You bet I would!”
Decked out in holiday attire, Suzee was eager to step onto the stage. Her brother knocked. “Two minutes Sis.”
The door swung open. “I’m so excited about tonight. Do you think my fans will recognize that these new songs came from a different place in my heart? Not waiting for an answer, Suzee raced to center stage. Her opening number definitely met with the audience’s approval.
Watching from the wings, Logan was overwhelmed with joy as he witnessed his sister’s exuberance. Surrendering her hurts had allowed her to breathe in the fresh air of heaven’s love.
An avalanche of letters, emails and messages flooded Suzee’s mailbox and web page over the following days and weeks. Oh yes, they had recognized the difference in her lyrics and the power within their delivery. Her words were touching them and they wanted to know what caused the change. Reading the messages Suzee realized that many starving souls understood her pain-filled songs, but the words had not elevated their spirits.
“The change,” Suzee replies to her fans, is simply this-- “Jesus took my garbage and filled my heart with His endless, unconditional love. I hope you will allow Him to do the same for you.”
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