I am much too practical to be a fairy tale (not to mention Disney princess) kinda girl…but oh my goodness…I was swept away last night. Let me tell you about it.
First of all, on Tuesday I got an email from Show Hope saying that grant recipients (which is us, because 3 years ago we received a grant for our adoption) were welcome to come (for free) to Steven Curtis Chapman’s Spring Celebration, which was a production of Cinderella with the Nashville Symphony. It was actually odd that we could go at all because Jack has worked nights now for a year, BUT Wednesday was to be his last 2nd shift day and the concert was on Thursday! Hallelujah! So we reserved the tickets, bought tiaras for my princesses’ little heads, and arrived at the Symphony in downtown Nashville last night at 6.
After the concert, all the grant recipients that were present went up on stage with SCC. It was so moving to see these families and know that each one of them could tell incredible stories of long and tedious journeys…journeys that proved in their hearts the faithfulness and love of God. A little boy named Yo Yo from China sang a beautiful and clear as a bell duet with SCC, and much to my surprise, I know his mother, Anna, and got to meet up with her for the first time in forever! I had met her several summers when I did mission work with my youth group and we had stayed in touch for a little while…but that was a long, long time ago!
So, some of the things I have to write about…my cup is overflowing…
1-The story of Cinderella itself is just about the only “princess” story I like, because it has always had a good message, but some of the dialogue from the play last night really stood out to me. It is actually a very prophetic allegory to Jesus and His Bride! We don’t really belong here, we were created for more and better than this world, things are not fair–just like in Cinderella’s house–and our Prince is looking for us. He actually says to Cinderella at the Ball, “I have all the servants I need, I really just want someone to talk to.” That is Jesus speaking to His Bride! He wants someone to confide in, someone to listen to His heart and share in all that is in it. I felt last night that God was speaking directly to me. He’s sweeping us away from all this mess, in the spiritual realm right now, if we’ll turn our hearts to Him, and when the time comes, on the Wedding Day, YES! The unseen will become seen and we will be literally swept off our feet. I’m living for that. That is where my hope lies.
2-Cinderella represents the oppressed and forgotten and abused all over the world. As the Prince and Jesus say, “Everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and respect.” I *have* always been treated with kindness and respect, and I am indignant when someone is not, but still it was a good reminder to me. Also, it gave me even more desire to advocate for children, adopt, sponsor, and share what ministries like Show Hope, IJM, World Vision, and Compassion are doing for children worldwide. We’re gonna hope to the very end.
3-Last night, I was struggling a little bit in my heart. Ever since I saw Steven Curtis Chapman’s concert about 10 years ago, when he told the story of Jim Elliot/Nate Saint/Mincaye, I have had this silly little dream. And even more so now that they started Show Hope and we have that passion in common, I have wanted to tour with him or have him hear a few of my songs and maybe use them. How embarrassing to even say it out loud, as if I’m even in that league of musician. I know that I am not, obviously! I don’t want to be a famous musician, I don’t want to have a tour or travel with anyone else; what I dream of is to be able to have a platform to share my songs about social justice, hope, and adoption with people. SO…going last night to this big thing was sort of a reminder of what I’m not. Jack reminded me that it isn’t that I want to be “big time”, it’s just that God has given me a message and like anyone with a prophet’s heart I’m jealous for a place to share it. Either way though, I really had to dig my way back to the shining truth: I live to gaze upon the face of Jesus. I do not live to have people listen to me or like my music. I turn my focus to the Lord, and while I am doing that I become complete and filled up with Him and don’t have room for caring about my influence or accolades. Pride doesn’t necessarily mean you think you’re something. It may mean you wish you were something. The sentence that brings me back, that digs my way back to truth is Heidi Baker’s quote: “I’m just a little laid down lover in the dirt.” That brings it home for me. That’s all I *want to* want to be.
4- And speaking of pride and humility, I was so touched by these beautiful families, several who had brought home special needs children. I thought, “These are the true heroes.” Priorities and values and what’s important in my mind must shift. It has, but it needs to even more. God sets the stars in the sky to shine…and He sets us exactly where we are to do the same. Steven and Mary Beth Chapman are making a huge difference in the world. I don’t even know how they handle being such world changers, knowing their wise decisions, faithful life, and stewarding everything from talent to grief so well, has been such a blessing to the Kingdom. They are shining like stars in the exact location God set them. Other heroes of the faith are unknown moms and dads who take in foster kids or adopt from orphanages, who really don’t have an easy life at all because of the decisions they have made for the Kingdom. People don’t understand why they do it, why they choose the hard way. No glamour, no acknowledgement. They really are the feet of the Body–on the ground, doing the hard work, unnoticed, because who notices feet and yet feet keep us standing. They are shining like stars in the exact location God set them.
It’s a lot for me to chew on. I want to adopt again, I want to do a lot of things, but I need to understand my place in the Body and my location to shine. And I know that knowing Him will be the key…We seek Him first and all things fall in place.