Monday, May 3, 2010

The Parts We Play

Last week at my daughter's Christian school we had Grandparents Day. It was an opportunity for grandparents to come to the school, see the classrooms, see some of their grandchildren's work and watch the school play. This year my father and my grandmother attended.

The play was a big production. It was a musical with a wonderfully designed set, elaborate costumes complete with wigs and make-up! This year, my 2 oldest daughters tried out for a singing role. They practiced and prayed and hoped and auditioned. My eldest, Emily did not get the role she wanted,but instead was given a fairly minor part that did not have any singing. My second daughter, Molly didn't get any part at all.

The day the parts were handed out, they both came home in tears. "Mommy, we tried our best, but we didn't get the part we wanted." They were so sure that God was being unfair to them. "Robin, that girl who is mean to me in band and always tells me I am not a good singer...SHE got the role I tried for. I don't understand why God would let her get that part when she is so mean and brags all the time." said Emily, her arms crossed and face set in a pout.

I hugged her and replied, "Em, we asked God to put you where He wanted you right? Well, maybe He wanted you have a small role for some reason we don't see yet. Besides, Molly didn't get anything at all, so don't you think she feels even worse?" For the weeks leading up to the audition, our nightly prayer had been asking God to put the girls in the role He wanted them in, but I guess Emily and Molly had already decided what those roles should be. When they didn't get them, they just figured that the teacher choosing the parts made a mistake, and they stuck with that opinion until the evening following the performance.

So, there we were, my Dad, my Grandma and me, sitting in the gym waiting for the curtains to open. I waved to Amie who was in the choir. She saw me and waved back, face splitting into a wide grin. Then the show began. Music filled the air and the curtains opened to reveal the show. The kids were all amazing. I was filled with motherly pride and joy to see my girls in their costumes, Amie singing and Emily acting. I had brought my video camera and was taping the whole thing and thinking how blessed I was to have my 88yr old Grandma sitting next to me watching her great-grandchildren. I thought of how blessed I am to have my family, how much they all mean to me and how precious and dear every moment is.

That was when Robin came out on stage in her lovely costume and singing in her sweet high voice. She did a fabulous job, and at the end of the song I saw her catch the eye of her Dad who was sitting just behind me. They exchanged a smile and he gave her a 'thumbs up'......and all of a sudden I knew. I knew why things had worked out the way they had.....and I knew Emily was going to feel very guilty for the jealousy she harbored over Robin getting the role she had wanted.

The play was over (and fabulous!) and I joined Emily in the halls afterward. We had a quiet moment and I said to her,"Em. Remember when we prayed that God would put people where He wanted them?" She nodded and I went on, "Do you know who Robin's Dad is?"

She shook her head 'no' "He is the man we have been praying for who is dying of cancer. He was so proud of her today and he was so filled with joy to see her up there. He may never have another chance to watch His daughter in a play. He may not even see her graduate."

She sucked in her breath and a hand went to her heart, "Oh no," she whispered, "And I was so jealous! That's so awful of me! I feel so bad!" And suddenly, Emily realized that God didn't get it wrong, the teacher didn't get it wrong, SHE was the one who had it wrong.

How often do we assume that something didn't work out the way it was supposed to? It makes me wonder how often we are wrong. I am so glad that Robin's dad was given that moment. God has a plan and we need to trust when we don't understand. After all, isn't that what faith is?

Dear Lord, today help me to seek Your will and not my own agenda. Help me to not be presumptuous and think that I could know better than you for even a moment. Thank you Lord that Robin's dad was given that gift. What a joy to have been privy to that moment. May I never forget how blessed I am to have these moments with my family. Thank you for the love we have for each other and the love we have for You. Help us to never covet what others have because we do not see the whole package sometimes. I know Robin would have traded places with Emily in a heart beat to have a whole, healthy father there to see her in a small part in the play. God, thank you for the gift of life and love. Keep me on Your path. Amen

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