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May 20, 2010

Chapter-a-Day Isaiah 45

Stage Manger at work backstage. "Clearly, you are a God who works behind the scenes...." Isaiah 45:15a (MSG)

I have been involved in stage productions since my youth and have spent the last five years in leadership of our local community theater organization. In fact, just last night Wendy and I found ourselves helping with auditions for the summer production. It never ceases to amaze me the number of people involved who the audience never see on stage. The audience sees and enjoys the actors' performance but they never see the Writer, Producer, Director, Stage Manager, Costumer, Lighting Director, Audio Director, Marketing team, Make-up Artist, and Production Assistants.

A month ago, I was acting in a show. At the end of one scene I needed to make an exit and come right back in at the beginning of the following scene. My coat was on a coat hook at the opposite end of the stage and it was my responsibility to exit through that far door and grab my coat. I made my exit through the nearest door without thinking about my coat which was now abandoned stage. I was going to look really silly entering a few minutes later without my coat when the audience could see it was still hanging on the hook by the door.

I scrambled around backstage, cursing myself for my mental lapse. As I approached, the opposite end of the set, I found my coat hanging on a hook backstage. In the scene change, one of the backstage crew had noticed I'd left the coat. They immediately ran to grab it and put it back stage where I would find it. Crisis averted. Without a a crew backstage making sure everything was under control, I'd have looked really silly.

When I read "you are a God who works behind the scenes," I really appreciate what that means.

Yesterday I wrote about a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day I had the previous day. It would have been easy to say to myself, "God, why are you absent?" I could have looked at the evidence of what I saw and concluded that God had let me down. I know that's not true. God is at work. In the spotlight, on the stage of my everyday life, things appear to be going wrong, but backstage God is actively at work. I may not see it until after the scene is over, but the Great Stage Manager is behind the scenes administrating far more than I can comprehend. He is aware of more than I see, and actively engaged to make sure I don't blow my next entrance.

Relax. We've got the best possible Stage Manager at work behind the scenes of our life.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and Ervin Noordin


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15-17Clearly, you are a God who works behind the scenes,
God of Israel, Savior God.

I love this attribute of God. He isn't only a majestic speaker who can claim the attention of throngs from the big stage. Oh He can do that...but He often just works quietly in the background, wanting not glory for Himself, but glory proclaimed by us for His great work. I need to remember to be more "boastful" about what God has done for me.

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