It’s KWA Countdown Week! 6 days till our Spiritual Disneyland Event.
Our heads are spinning
This year’s theme…
The cast is twice what it was last year and there is singing this time. The set installments are enormous, have already been added in stages to save on wear and tear of humans. And the costumes we’ve been creating since March are in their final stages of completion. Nightly sessions at the workshop, Saturday mornings and Sun
day afternoon dress rehearsals and hours of tailoring. Glue, paint, foam, glitter, velcro (I think we own stock), embellishments. We discovered Gorilla tape, double sided no less!
Be still my heart
To date, my favorite characters are the Philistines. As I watched their rehearsal last week I chuckled. Here are a bunch of guys, some with angry back stories, who’ve been changed into pussycats and they’re trying to find their inner monsters. Goliath is a 17 year old 6’7″, deep voiced student contemplating his college options. Their costumes are my favorites, they’re the CT version of mean boy rock stars
At the last minute David broke his clavicle in a cycling accident and had to be replaced. It’s incredibly sad, he’s been with the cast since the script writing sessions. He embodies David. We’re all shedding a tear or two. Our new guy will be great and the kids will never know the difference but its a hard pill to swallow.
Because of KWA, and Mom, and work, and flooding at our rental house, and heat with humidity, and a nasty episode with hip pain that sent me to ER and PT, we haven’t enjoyed many usual summer activities. No picnics, outdoor concerts, festivals, farmer’s markets, BBQ’s, even minimal sidewalk dining. But in 6 days that will all change! Our summer mantra is “After KWA…”
I hope we stay awake for August
So much of what happens during this preparation has an incredible impact on the people doing the work. If this was a college the course we’d title it, “Reinventing Your Character through KWA”. For some it’s a time when they learn what it’s like to live in a healthy family. For others it’s a balm, something that allows them to feel useful, loved and welcomed. It replaces hurtful relationships and gives them a place to heal. And for some it is a stretching, especially when the costume it took hours to make, to their specifications, needs a “little” tweaking! Or they add 5 more characters a month before the performance…
Lots and lots of grace
But all of us have dug down deep to discover our inner creativity. We’ve made many of our own patterns – Ta Da! (cue singsong bit). We’ve shopped for specific fabrics on a budget with some very specific requirements. We’ve executed designs from drawings – Ta Da! #2. We’ve brainstormed solutions to countless logistical needs. And we’ve discovered unexpected ways to use velcro, rivets, pleather, paint, chicken wire, PVC pipe, every kind of glue, grommets and even BINDER CLIPS!
One of the things we’ve prayed for months is that God would “get the glory” for all that we do. I get it. We want him to get the credit for equipping us to do what we do. It’s a phrase often used in church. But it sort of rubs me wrong. I think people who respond to praise with “It’s all God” or “I didn’t do it, God did” or my worst favorite, “Glory to God” are lame. Come on people, be honest…
Who doesn’t love to be told they’re talented??!
I know I do! You can’t lavish me with enough praise. Positive strokes go far with me. I become slavish to people who take the time to praise me and tell me how great and talented I am. And when they point to the specific things I’ve done, it’s even better. I find myself boring them with the way I created it and how I found just the right trick to make it come out the way it did and why I didn’t do it a different way instead of the way I made it and how it’s going to last better and stay in place better on stage… I become a verbal, unending stream of knowledge and instruction.
You’d think I don’t get out much
But that’s why I struggle with this whole “give God the glory” thing. Of course God is worth “getting the glory” (the phrase alone is weird if you ask me) but it’s not like he needs it. He’s not out there saying “Give me glory everyone, I deserve it and I won’t be satisfied until I get X amount”. Makes him sound like the world’s biggest egotist. If you think about it, can we ever give God enough glory?! I don’t think so. I mean, he created the world with his words. He always was and always will be. He can raise the dead…
He is God
Here’s where my mind goes… Does God feel like I do when I tell him how much I love what he does?
Cinda: “God, I absolutely love flowers. The colors are so spectacular, I can’t think of enough ways to tell you how much I love them. You did such a great job when you created them! The petals, so velvety and rich. Thank you so much for thinking these up, I absolutely love them!”
God: “OH WOW! I’m so glad you like them! I wanted people to know what heaven is going to be like so I created flowers in as many colors as you can find just so they have a tiny glimpse of what my throne room looks like. You know those deep blue clematis, delphiniums and Iris that are in your yard? They’re the exact color of the sapphire sea that runs before my throne. I can’t wait to show it to you Cinda, you’re going to love it up here. And how I made them? Well first I thought of that sea, then I imagined it’s texture and knew that if I …..”
And we’d be deep into the hows and whys of creating flowers till I fall asleep from the scientific specifics which bore me to tears but I’d be too polite to tell God I didn’t want to know them.
I think I’m trying, maybe even successfully, to be humorous about this because I have a feeling we are people who don’t think we should accept credit when we do something for God that uses our natural and supernatural talents together. I’m sure that I’m excellent at sewing, yet there are specific things I’ve done that are only things God could have inspired in me. I like what my friend Gaby said “a God download”. Not only is it exciting to tell someone about those moments, it’s thrilling to know that God did it. But I’m also happy to take credit for the things I do myself that come from my natural talent and years of experience. I’m pretty good at thanking people simply when paid a compliment. And there’s nothing wrong in doing so or in taking pride in personal accomplishment.
As we move toward our final week it’s important to recognize the supernatural from the natural, to be specific in crediting God for his part in it and to keep in mind that this natural event is going to achieve an eternal result.
Children are going to learn that God loves them, he is bigger than any school bully they face, he is stronger than any enemy they have, that he loves to be praised and is willing to do almost anything for them when they offer it to him, that he doesn’t look at their outside but he sees their hearts. And that he is rich, and wants to lavish his love and protection on them when they trust him with their lives.
It’s a tall order for Chicago, children here face unimaginable giants,
But God, is the greatest Giantslayer!