Joni Eareckson Tada, the singer herself said to The Hollywood Reporter, “I’m the least likely candidate to record a song for a movie, I’ll tell you that up front, so it’s amazing,”
But I will tell you that I am someone who has had the pleasure of singing with her! No, dont get the wrong idea. I am among probably thousands of others who have simply been with Joni and have shared in her spontaneous singing of a favorite hymn. She loves music, particularly music that glorifies God! And, she cannot help but sing it.
But observers also can't help but wonder at this nomination. From my own life, when things happen that don't make sense to me, I expect something from God. So, in this nomination, I expect something from God!
Perhaps it is that God just chose to honor a dedicated servant who has been a model of trust through the most challenging of experiences that human life can throw at someone; quadriplegia, cancer. Joni is worthy of such recognition. One of the greatest aspects of "Alone yet not alone" is that Joni is real, sharing her real experience with God who has supported her throughout her life. You can hear the honesty and integrity in her voice. She is not just singing a song, she is telling her story. You can see it in her smile at the end of the video.
Perhaps it is that God is bringing attention to the ministry of Joni and Friends. The Christian church is awakening to the inclusion of persons with disabilities like never before. Joni and Friends has had a lot to do with that. The article linked below speaks of giving out wheelchairs, which is true. At last count, the 100,000th, custom fitted chair will soon be dispersed. These chairs are donated, reconditioned till they are like new and shipped around the world. They represent 100,000 lives that were changed with mobility and dignity where there perhaps was none before. Growing this and other work of encouraging families and individuals with disabilities themselves, training leaders and advocates and teaching about a Biblical perspective on disability might also be the point of this recognition.
Perhaps it is a witness to the secular world about who God is. There are few events like the Academy Awards that are more secular in their celebration and focus. It is marvelous that a weak, quadriplegic, Christian, woman, has set the awards world on it's ear a bit, wondering how this could have happened. As Joni herself prays in the video, God chooses to use the weak to accomplish his purposes. Joni's weakness will be on display which points to God's power in technicolor!
I have no idea whether the song will win, but I know that God will accomplish his purposes. I personally think it is breathtaking and fun to experience this nomination. I think if I could see the face of God, He would wink and say that in spite of everything, of so many things that appear to be moving to the contrary, "I am still in control!"
'Alone yet not alone' story and link to video