It was fun. It was for a good cause too. I got to play two different characters last week at the Westerly Library's Anniversary event. On Thursday night I grabbed my cowboy boots, ten gallon hat and a pair of six shooters and became Billy the Kid.
A week ago Friday night I donned a yellow wig, a robe and a sword and magically became Le Petit Prince. It was all part of Donna Celico's event titled, "the Naughty Children of Literature." I think the best part of it all was that I didn't have to learn any lines.
Sounds easy, right? Anybody could do it. That's what I thought. What I didn't realize was the fact that when you don't have any lines, you have to be an extraordinary actor to make your character believable. You can't hide behind great writing. You have to do something.
Twenty three different acts came to the stage. We met Pinocchio, Little Red Riding Hood, Pippi Longstocking, the Artful Dodger, Mary Poppins, Harry Potter, Tom Sawyer, and Little Orphan Annie to name a few. The actors and actresses did an outstanding job.
Donna's advice to us was to listen to the words and simply react to them. Our job was to bring the characters to life, to lift them off the page and make them real for the audience. It's one thing to write about someone like Billy the kid. It's another to become him.
It struck me afterward that this same principle is true of our faith. The early followers of Jesus were called Christians because their behavior, activity and speech were like those of Jesus. They embodied the spirit of Christ and brought it to life for a new audience.
As Christians, we are called to be a living, breathing representation of Jesus for the world to see. Do you remember the old song, "They will know we are Christians by our love." It's not the words that make us the body of Christ. It's how we live and how we love.
We are called to love like Jesus. So the stage is waiting for you and me. Let's embrace the opportunity to share the love of Christ with a world that is hurting and in need of hope. Let's bring that love to life.
God bless! See you in church.
The Rev. Cal Lord is pastor of Central Baptist Church of Westerly.