I was standing in the church parking lot after bible study this morning with two of my favorite people, my friend Julie and our senior pastor Rob. Julie and I were sharing with Rob how much fun we are having being part of the cast of Godspell. He asked us the question "what do you think has made it so special?"
What has made this experience so special? As I said in my last blog entry about Godspell, the people are the primary answer to the question, for instance, the deepening of friendships with dear ones like Julie. However, as I reflect on that question, there are even more blessings than that. One of the things Julie and I identified as bringing us both a great deal of joy is the playfulness of the whole production. Jesus' "disciples" in the story are meant to be very childlike and innocent. There is a great deal of silliness in the process of acting out the parables found in Matthew. Julie and I are on the "older" end of the cast and we agreed that it was very refreshing to get the opportunity to just play. In the course of the show, I shriek as I am locked in jail, I gasp for air as a plant without enough moisture, I wail like a devil, I baa like a sheep, and crawl around on the floor for a variety of reasons too numerous to mention. Suffice it to say that I rarely shriek, gasp, wail, baa or crawl around in "real" life. I also, throughout the play, dance with joy a great deal. We all do...I do it much more poorly than most. However, in the context of the play, I feel free to dance with abandon. Ooooh, that might be it....playing, being silly, singing loudly, dancing poorly....all with abandon. Not much place in my proper adult world to do very many things with abandon! I think that must be a big part of the joy of Godspell for me.
Speaking of things done with abandon, the joy of Godspell is also very much tied up with the joy of laughter. We laugh HARD during our Godspell rehearsals. We laugh often...almost constantly. Some of the funniest people that I know are in this cast....Duke, Justin, Sarah, Ellen, Kevin, just to name a few. Actually, everyone in the cast is hilarious. Again, where in life do you get the opportunity to laugh for a common purpose...for a "good" cause, if you will. Laughing regularly is something I am blessed to have in my life outside of Godspell, but the energy and silliness of this setting make it extra special.
The other thing that has been extraordinary about this experience is watching God use it all for His glory. We haven't even done the performances for an audience yet, but God has already been showing off! My favorite gift we have gotten from God in this process has been my new friend, Anne. Anne came to us as a gift from Sarah initially, but God had bigger plans. Anne has real-life Broadway and off-Broadway experience, so she actually knows what she is doing much more than many of us do. Yet, not once has she been the least bit "Diva-ish." In fact, she is one of the most generous spirited people that I have ever had the pleasure to know. She is creative, funny, loving, talented and giving. She and her equally lovely daughter Heidi have contributed costumes, props, puppets and endless ideas and energy. Best of all, Anne is now going through the New Members class at our church, so we get to "keep" her after the production is over! I love that God gave us a new member of our family who came to us through a different door than usual. A gift that keeps on giving...I look forward to God growing my new friendship with Anne over the coming weeks and months. This is only one example of how God has expressed His generosity to us through Godspell.
Speaking of God's good gifts, here are the words to the song I have the privilege of singing in our production. It is a breathtakingly beautiful song...so beautiful that I only have to show up and open my mouth for God to use it to bless those who are listening. It is very easy to sing these words straight from my heart:
ALL GOOD GIFTS
We plow the fields and scatter the good seed on the land..
But it is fed and watered by God's almighty hand..
He sends us snow in winter, the warmth to swell the grain...
The breezes and the sunshine, and soft refreshing rain...
All good gifts around us
Are sent from Heaven above
Then thank the Lord, thank the Lord for all his love...
We thank thee then, O Father, for all things bright and good,
The seedtime and the harvest, our life our health our food,
No gifts have we to offer for all thy love imparts
But that which thou desirest, our humble thankful hearts!
All good gifts around us
Are sent from Heaven above..
Then thank the Lord, thank the Lord for all his love..
I really wanna thank you Lord!
I wanna thank you, Lord, thank you for all of your love.