Beliefnet
A Touch of Encouragement

A Parade Magazine Poll has named Rosie O’Donnell The Most Annoying Celebrity of 2007. I can remember a time when I’d grab the Sunday newspaper and search for the Parade Magazine insert and more often than not I’d find a story or two about our most inspiring celebrities, not to mention the inspirational stories of “ordinary” people.


But, as we know, it’s much harder to sell wholesome and uplifting content. Not because folks don’t want to read it. But advertisers and media corporations just don’t believe we’ll be interested.
I’ll admit, I was interested in the story about Rosie this week, but for a personal reason. I visited the set of “The View” last year and had the opportunity to meet Rosie O’Donnell after the show. I sat in the audience during the broadcast and was tremendously impressed by the energy and concentration that it took to keep an “informal discussion” on track and off-the-cuff. And Rosie, despite a bad cold, was the engine behind the energy that day, keeping the focus on the topics, driving the conversation, making a tough job look very easy.
During commercials, while others onstage tended to their make-up and checked scripts, Rosie walked directly out to the audience, engaging us in a heartfelt conversation about families and child-rearing. I was touched by the obvious love she expressed for her children. Not to mention her genuine interest in the parenting challenges that those of us in the audience shared.
After the show, when we were introduced, a tired Rosie was upbeat and gracious and seemed genuinely pleased to meet “The Touched By An Angel Lady.” She immediately wanted to share with me a personal story of miraculous healing that I would love to write here, but it is her story to tell, not mine. I can say this: it involved a Christian hospital worker that Rosie encountered once under terribly frightening and dangerous circumstances. As Rosie shared her story with me, she expressed nothing but tremendous respect and gratitude for that faithful and bold believer whose fervent prayer ended with an honest-to-goodness, down-to-the-wire miracle that Rosie said she would never forget.
Knowing that I am a Christian, Rosie chose to find something that we had in common, rather than make assumptions about my personal, spiritual, or political opinions that others often make when they meet a person of faith.
And I find that encouraging. Not annoying at all.

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