I am in 9th grade English class and we are reading The Glass Menagerie. I’ve just been assigned to read the part of Laura Wingfield. I always hated reading plays out loud in the cold, fluorescent classroom. It was all so…unnatural. I always ended up reading the descriptive stuff in the brackets on accident. I don’t know which I hated more: when there were too many characters and everyone had to double up on parts (you get to be the bagboy, girl with the basket and man #2) or when there weren’t enough characters to go around and you didn’t get a part at all and just had to listen to the monotone.
I much preferred reading plays alone, in my own head, so I not only could imagine the scenes playing out like a movie but I got to be every character. You know how it is in the classroom: you are assigned the part of Laura Wingfield so instead of listening to the story and following along as the action plays out, you find yourself skipping ahead, marking all of Laura’s lines, sure that you can clearly pronounce all the words in the script so as not to make a fool of yourself…until you become aware of the long pause that has settled in on the classroom and someone mercifully whispers “Hey, aren’t you Laura? Go!” And you’ve kind of missed it, the very thing you’ve been preparing for, however small.
Sometimes I feel that way in life. I can get so focused on my part, my role, my purpose, my story, that I miss the bigger story. The bigger story that isn’t just the bigger story, but it is THE ONLY STORY. Because “It isn’t a flood, it’s not a tornado, Mother. I’m just not popular like you were in Blue Mountain” makes no sense if you say it out of the context of the whole play. Yeah, I had a moment with the attention on me…but so what? That isn’t a story, it’s only a part…a fragmant of a story. To me, my story only makes sense in the context of a story that is bigger than mine.
God has a story He is writing and He has saved a part just for me! There are days when I falsely believe I would rather BE the story than just play a part, but I think there is relief in realizing that we get to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. And as I trust Him to live in and through me, there is no concern as to whether I will be able to pronounce all the words.