The Fat Lady
by Rev. Robert J. Hermley

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Many people called her the fat lady.  She had a pretty face, a beautiful smile and a gorgeous voice, but she was fat.

She got a few jobs singing, and she hoped to do some acting, but the only parts she could get was when they needed a fat lady.

They hadn't noticed that she was kind and gentle and the she had a heart as big as her body.  They paid her well, but she was often the butt of their jokes.

In spite of it all, she kept plugging along and kept on singing and smiling - and crying when she was alone.  She became world famous and many people forgot to notice how fat she was.  She was invited everywhere and people loved to hear her sing, but she never got all the attention that slimmer girls got.  She probably would have got nowhere except for her voice.

She never told anyone about her loneliness and of the hurt she felt by being laughed at.  Most people thought she was happy because she was famous, and there were many people who truly loved her no, but never got around to telling her.

Finally, she died and those close to her revealed the sorrow she suffered and the ridicule she endured at the hands of people who never became anybody at all.  But just about everyone remembered her voice.

Very frequently in life, there are literally thousands of people who suffer in silence.  Some of them are bald, some skinny, some short, a few pimply faced, and some fat.  They are good people and if we could see their soul, they are truly great people; they're just not pretty on the outside.  In choosing teams, people pass over them.  They don't fit.  In choosing friends, people pass them by.  They have a heart as all outdoors, but they are passed over.  They are not one of the pretty faces.  They smile, but inside it hurts.  People think they're OK, but say, "Hello" and hurry on.

Sometimes these good people are the ones who laugh the loudest, who smile the most; but they do it because if they didn't, they may cry!  Sometimes their antics are a cry to all around.  "Look at me; I'm really not that bad.  I'm fat.  I'm not pretty, I have blemishes, but I would like a friend" - and sometimes there may even be a sinner amongst the unwanted who is trying ever so hard to redeem himself . . . and he's crying out to God in his loneliness, "I am sorry!"

And it just may be that to answer such people's prayers for a friend, God les you pass by just at that moment to bump into them, smile for a moment, and say, "Hello, how are you doing?  I just wanted you to know I'll always be here to help you if I can."  They'll probably be too proud to ask you for help, but they'll never forget that you offered.