Friday, December 16, 2011

Sabbath Reflections: Coincidence? I Think Not!

You know those stories that span years and have two people's lives intersect in a strange, coincidental ways and sound like they should have an epic score behind them in their dramatic conclusions? This is one of those stories from my life that I wanted to share.

Dialogue is my favorite part of writing. This makes sense – I love talking, I love listening, I love eavesdropping on random strangers. And I love drama (inside the theatre, not anywhere else).

These are a few of the reasons that I wrote a lot of scripts in high school, although I didn’t realize it at the time. Back then, my reasoning went something like this: some of the skits we’re doing for youth group (taken from badly-designed freebie websites) are terrible. Even I could do better than that.

So I did. My sophomore year in high school, I wrote a flurry of scripts for our youth group to perform at different events. It was a lot of fun.

But then, just like I usually do when I start a new project, I got burnt out. I didn’t feel “in the mood” to write any more scripts. So, spring of my junior year, I just stopped.

A few months later, I went to the Kids’ Action Club talent show. (That’s what our church calls our children’s ministry. Although the name might lead you to think so, it is not, in fact, a league of young spies, which is a little disappointing.) The talent show was an annual event, crammed with plunked-out piano solos and badly off-key singing and proud parents who didn’t care.

I don’t even know what I was doing there that night. I wasn’t a leader, and I didn’t have any siblings in the show. Normally I avoided kids like the plague. For some reason, though, I was sitting in the audience that night.

About halfway through the show, two third graders came onstage and performed a skit about dinosaurs and how we aren’t just evolutionary accidents: God created us. It had fairly simple message, basic dialogue, and the usual stage fright, but it was still impressive for third graders.

What caught my attention, though, was what I learned after the show. Someone told me that those two third graders had just been to the Creation Museum and just got so excited that they wanted to write a drama about it.

Let me repeat: two nine-year-olds had a message that they wanted to share. So they just went ahead and did it.

That’s when I realized: I still have a message. There are still things I care about that I want to put into words. What better medium than drama, where I know an entire audience will listen to what I have to say?

And I also realized from that talent show skit that not every production has to be fancy and elaborate. Sometimes, God uses something very basic to have a huge impact. So I wrote a simple skit about the powerful impact of the simplest of stories: the birth of Jesus.

Of course, by the time I sent it to my drama leader, Christmas had come and gone, so she tucked it away, and I never heard anything about it again.

Fast-forward four years to the present. My drama leader emailed me and told me she was digging out my old script for this year’s Christmas tea. They performed it last Sunday, and while I wasn’t able be able to make it in person, I saw the cast list. And guess what?

The main character was one of those third-graders I saw perform in the talent show. He’s now in jr. high and apparently quite the actor.

I think God does this kind of thing on purpose, just for fun.

So tell your story. Write down the message God has given you. You might never see the impact that it has…but every now and then you will.

And that’s a pretty awesome thing.

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