Perform

I grew up performing. When I was in the first grade, I must have sung a song in class because my teacher, Mrs. Irwin, sent a note home to my parents that they should put me in voice lessons. I spent the next 14 years performing so much that it’s really weird that most people in my current life have no idea about that part of my past.

The thing that’s great about performing is exactly what Lorne Michaels tells the SNL cast according to Tina Fey’s book, Bossypants, which I may have read five times and will read again because it is awesome and hilarious. “The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30.”

When the curtain goes up, you are never ready. There’s always more that could have been done. And I feel like that’s my life right now. I’m a huge mess, but the audience is here, and the curtain is up. It’s too late to rehearse any more.

Confession time. I don’t know what I’m doing. Ever. About anything. 

But I had to take the stage because the curtain is up.

I want so desperately to have it together. I spend so much time thinking about all the things I should be doing or should have done to prepare. I wish I could tell you how to do it. How to be a mom, a wife, a Christ-follower, a servant, a daughter, a world-changer.

But I’m just up here faking it, and I think God’s ok with that.

Sometimes people think performers have thick skin. That we must have an easier time with rejection or criticism because we get so much of it. But I actually think it’s just the opposite. I think we can be more sensitive because we’ve been conditioned to care a whole lot what people think and because we are so often criticized that we come to expect it. Maybe what we are good at is stuffing the anxiety away and getting up on stage anyway. A part of acting, I suppose.

I’m filled with fear and anxiety, and I don’t know what I am doing. Is my son safe in Rwanda? Can my marriage withstand the pressure of life? Will our parents forgive us for moving? Am I doing anything worthwhile at all? Can God use such a weak and trembling person?

But if I get stuck on these questions, I will never take the stage. There are no easy answers. There are no short cuts in life. Only trusting in the One who knows. The One who holds the cards, and the One who will never forsake.

The show must go on.

 

 

Explanations

I’m struggling with suffering these days.  Not my own, but others.  I have family members who are suffering, and I don’t like it.

I am a seriously left-brained person.  There’s not an ounce of creativity in me.  I am all logic, all the time.  I don’t feel things.  I think them.  And then I overthink them some more.  I want to know why.  Why does this loving God who I place my trust in allow such suffering to go on?  Suffering that seems so arbitrary, so unrelated to anything and clearly not the result of anyone’s bad choices.

I know all the theological answers, but they don’t really answer the question.  Most of the time, I am ok with that.  I know my place in relation to a holy God.  I’m not meant to understand everything.  I can only see one small piece of the puzzle.  It’s like my dog wanting to understand why she can’t eat at the dining room table with us.  I just can’t explain it to her, and if I tried, she wouldn’t get it.  She’s a dog.  [I’m not saying humans are dogs, just trying to draw some sort of analogy to wrap my brain around the issue.]

But it’s frustrating!  I want it to end.  I don’t want the people I love to hurt.  I don’t want them to doubt that God loves them in the midst of their trials.  And I know that my God can stop it.

That is faith.  Trusting in something you can’t explain.  Going back to the Word, to what I know is true.  God loves us.  Jesus wept for his people.  We are in the midst of a redemption story, but all has not yet been restored and redeemed.