Friday, June 18, 2010

Baby, Baby, Baby, Ohh.

Paulo Ricardo was the first guy in the house to like Justin Bieber. He made us all sit down and watch the video “Baby” on Youtube. That was a Tuesday. Before the week was out, Claudinho’s ringtone had changed, Adilio was repeating the chorus ad nauseam and Anderson was singing his own interpretation of the song (one that desperately needed subtitles). The fact that these guys are Bieber fans cannot be attributed solely to his musical ability. I think they like him in part because they would like to be him. After all, he housesits for Usher, hangs with Ludacris and his videos clog the Favorites page for half of the girls in the States (their ages notwithstanding). But for all of his success, I cannot help but feel sorry for Justin Bieber. When I look at him, I cannot shake images of Macaulay Culkin, Lindsay Lohan or the Olsen twins – kids that are stars one day and social pariahs the next. It’s only a matter of time before the media starts tanking the affable character that they have created, and he starts sporting a moustache.

Claudinho’s story is on a completely different trajectory than that of Justin Bieber’s. Girls don’t line up to talk to him, his videos on Youtube don’t have more than 20 views (15 of them his) and, up until a month ago, he was making about 70 cents an hour. But, the cool thing about Claudinho’s story is how it seems to embody the truth “he who is faithful with little will be entrusted with much.” In life, Claudinho just plods along, doing what he’s supposed to. That could mean arriving early at church to clean up or opting to go to bed over watching a late night soccer match because he has to work in the morning. But, I trust that that steady plodding will pay off, just as it did when he recently landed a job with a great company where there is room for growth. There was nothing miraculous about the way he got the job. A guy from church recognized Claudinho’s faithfulness and recommended him for an open position. But, I am amazed with the way that God cares for this 19 year old man, using life’s seemingly normal circumstances to shape within him a character and perseverance that is anything but normal.

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