Sunday, October 19, 2008

Imagine that.

I love acting.

I love opening that new script for the very first time, getting fitted for a costume, and blocking scenes for tedious hours on end. And then there's the adrenaline rush of opening night, the stage lights (which will always hold a certain charming appeal), the forgotten prop, the caked-on make-up, the five-second costume change, the hard-earned audience laughter, and the mic tape on my face.

But what I love most about acting is--the acting. I'm enthralled with becoming another person. It's a mysterious journey that begins with reading my character's lines off a page of the script and ends when I actually embody her--moving and responding and thinking and looking like this total stranger.

Okay, you're judging me now, aren't you? Was it when I said "embody her"? Yes, that's strange, I'll admit. But think about it: When you were little, you could drop to your knees and bark like a dog and chase an imaginary ball, and no one thought twice about it. You became a dog for those few minutes--and it was stinkin' fun!

But somewhere along the line, we all grew up and stopped... imagining. We learned the harder side of life and we learned the danger of being innocent and naive, and in the process we suffocated our imaginations. Being realistic and pragmatic defined our adulthood.

But then, how do we even begin to deal with eternal realities if we can no longer imagine? If experience and reason alone dictate reality, what are we to do with the miraculous, the supernatural, the infinite?

Which is why I love acting. I'm forced to exercise my atrophied imagination, to think outside my little world, to wonder and explore and create to my heart's content.

And in the process, I understand a bit more of what it means to take on another identity. God has given me a perfect script in His holy Scriptures, and He has cast me as His new creation. This righteous creation could not be more different than my old sinful self. For me, the toughest part of acting is to think like another person. It may be easy to act like them, but to think like them? In the same way, it's relatively easy to act like a Christian, but to think like one? To react and respond like one? To have impulses and desires like one? I must let the Author's script and Spirit shape my heart and mind until the new creation upstages the old.

When a director casts me as a penniless widow, well, then--a penniless widow I will be. When my God, Creator, Sustainer, and Lord tells me I am a new creation--well, then, a new creation I will be. I will study the Script, I will think new thoughts, and I will act in obedience for the applause of One great audience.

`

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Like mental wallpaper

Thanks to my mom and her faithfulness to post Scriptures all around the house when we were growing up, Zephaniah 3:17 has long been one of my favorite verses. These few words are jam-packed with truths about God's character and who I am in relation to Him. I love it!

My friend David Arevalo and I put the verse to music a few years ago, so we could have it stuck in our heads and hearts. Truth wallpapered on the walls of our minds. Glory oozing out of our pores.

But a little disclaimer: I've had the darndest time trying to upload this thing to Blogger, so the cheesy video clips below are the result of a desperate attempt by a very technically challenged woman. Close your eyes and forgive me, won't you? =)

(And yes, it is silent for the first several seconds...)

video

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

30-Something in Singleville

I am far too exhausted to be blogging. I want to sleep for more than four hours tonight. But I'm in desperate need of a captive audience for a light-hearted monologue on a topic I usually try to avoid:

Singleness.

It's weird here in Singleville at 30-something. Sometimes it feels a lot like living in a Dr. Seuss book or having tea with the Mad Hatter. College guys still flirt around; older men talk marriage even before a first date.

Advice is predictable: "When you're content in Jesus, He will bring the man along" and "When you least expect it, you'll meet him!" (Well, some days contentment is an hourly struggle; other days, it comes easily. Isn't it that way for everyone in every season of life? Or have some people arrived prematurely?) Other favorites: "Maybe you should go to a church that has a singles group" and "Have you tried E-Harmony?" I've visited church singles groups and I've tried E-Harmony. Both are terrifying. Perhaps the most boggling one is: "Singleness is so much better than marriage. Be thankful you're single." (But then why did you get married? I don't understand. Am I slow?)

Set-ups are to be avoided at all costs. The few I've agreed to have been... awkward... at best.

Older men check me out now. I mean, older. That's weird.

The pool of eligible men my age is now full of divorcees with kids. That's weird, too. (Not out of the question, because we all have our baggage, but the potentials used to be young guys fresh out of college, ya know?)

It's funny here. But in the midst of the comedy (and oftentimes the tears), there's a lot of beauty in this place. I love that the Author of Life, with perfect pen in hand, writes a story worth the telling. His fingers never slip as He scripts the climaxes and conflicts, the cliffhangers, the antagonists and protagonists. He is all mystery and adventure and comedy and romance. Once upon a time I imagined a very different story, but I've come to enjoy this Author's style much more than my own.

I love what I've learned in these years of singleness. I treasure the time I've had to prepare for the Great Wedding, when all of this waiting and wondering will make complete sense. Something more than my own personal security and happiness is at stake here.

A sovereign God calls me to an adventure far greater than I could ever have planned. Adventure is made of pleasure and pain, uncertainty and risk, faith and hope. I'm still as excited as ever about marrying a godly man someday--if my God writes that chapter. If not, He is far more than all I could ask or imagine. Earthly marriage is created to be only a small glimpse of the infinitely perfect marriage that awaits us...

And so I wait on Him for both.