I was going through some boxes in the office when I came across my script and the blue blanket that I used in the community theater production of “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown” back in 2002. I was cast as Linus in the play. It was my first time back on stage in over a decade. I loved doing community theater but I didn’t know if I still had it in me. I remember how nervous I was going into tech week.
That changed when I stepped onto the actual stage. We’d been rehearsing in a dance studio. Yet, when the lights came on, and we came out in full costume, it suddenly became very real. I got so excited! I morphed into Linus. I remember feeling like a kid again. The joy was back. All of the rehearsing, all of the work, seemed to come together in a new way.
It felt like I was meant to be doing this all along. I had found my sweet spot, that place where I felt most comfortable and productive. I couldn’t help but think of how similar this is to our spiritual journeys. Whenever you talk to someone who is really in tune with the Lord, they tell you how they can sense God’s presence. Things just feel right.
The truth is that many of us wander around looking for something to satisfy our longings. We try many things along the way. Only one thing will truly bring out that joy. Our spirits seek a connection to the loving, transcendent God, creator of the universe. When you find Him, when you enter into a sacred space, you know it, because it feels right.
The problem is that we make it harder than it is. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed the role of Linus so much. He was an innocent little boy. He saw the world through eyes that found awe and wonder in everything. He witnessed the goodness of God all around him. Linus reflected that little boy or girl that is within all of us. Unfortunately too many of us grow up and leave that inner child behind as we mature.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same after taking on the challenge of that role. That little boy I became for a few weeks, many years ago, still likes to come out to play. That little boy sees God more clearly than the aging, middle-aged man that I’ve become. I’ve learned that I need to listen to him more often and open my eyes so I can look around and see what God is doing.
What about you? Will you let the little boy or girl inside of you come out to play? Will you let that inner child show you the face of God? I hope so, because God loves that part of us. It is the innocent, expectant, childlike faith in God that will bring blessing and salvation into our lives. Jesus suggested that the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. I believe it is true.
The Rev. Cal Lord is pastor of Central Baptist Church in Westerly.