Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Dramatizing grace

I recently mentioned to a pastor friend that I connect more to drama than to music or lecture (no surprise on the last part since very, very few people connect with the standard lecture found in churches and educational settings). She was speechless and since then has said on several occasions, "Really? I had no idea people worship that way."

A few weeks later I was in a meeting with this friend when someone else said, "I think we should have dramas because that's what I remember from my past." My friend looked from one of us to the other and finally spit out, "There are two of you????"

No wonder so few churches use the power of drama in their services. If you asked me to tell you about one sermon I've heard through the years, I don't know if I could even come up with 5, including last week's (my apologies to last week's speaker). And I'm terrible with song lyrics. But ask me about dramas I've seen and I can tell you all about them and the impact they had on me. This is true of dramas in church and on stage. Why not? Drama is story and story is from our Creator.

There are some dramas that I can see over and over again and continue to be impacted by them. Fiddler on the Roof gets me every time. The theme of tradition, more specifically, blind tradition over God, family and love hits home. Not because I was raised in the Jewish culture but because I was raised in an Anabaptist one. Sometimes the difference between tradition and truth is so hard to see. Sometimes the confusion hurts and change is always painful. But the discussion is necessary.

Les Miserables is another. The Good Doctor and I saw this again this week. Victor Hugo's classic novel about the French political and judicial systems is so much more and the stage adaptation takes nothing away from his underlying themes of law vs. grace, the plight of the oppressed, and the difficulty in equating punishment with true justice. In fact, for me, the stage version brings these themes even closer to home.

This time, I couldn't watch the story unfolding without seeing the modern-day version that is at play all around me every day; in my home, in our neighborhoods, across the river, throughout my nation, and around the world. I was reminded again of the wonderful example Jean Valjean really is of who I want to be. Sacrificing for others.

"Let us sacrifice one day to gain perhaps a whole life."

Taking my weaknesses, mistakes, and imperfections and using them to grow in the knowledge of the overflowing amount of grace and mercy that I have received. Needing to give that same grace and mercy to others. Speaking up for truth.

"You ask me what forces me to speak? a strange thing; my conscience."

Not allowing others to suffer needlessly. Using all of my mind, strength, and resources for others. Recognizing that I can't help everyone but I can be everything to the one in front of me. Going to battle for those God has placed in my path.

"Those who do not weep, do not see."

Judgement is not mine to give. I can never truly know anyone's backstory; the battles they are fighting and the victories they have won. Giving grace and mercy to those who can't return it. Even more difficult, giving of these virtues freely to those who don't deserve it. Because when I really look at myself, I don't deserve it, either. And never, ever stopping, to my last breath.

"To love another person is to see the face of God."

*All quotes from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

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