The Long Intermission

I was in sixth grade when I saw my first stage production. It was a high school production, but that didn’t make it any less remarkable for me. I loved the story, actors, music and dancing. In fact, I loved the whole evening. I think I’m a little unusual in that I seriously enjoy EVERYTHING. I love the energy of the audience as they anticipate the show and seeing their friends or family on stage. I love combing over the playbill and reading the bios and even the advertisements! Then, the orchestra begins to tune their instruments! For most people that isn’t remarkable, but I love listening as they play a note, adjust the string or reed, and play again and again until the whole orchestra can play a note with a unified sound. The curtain goes up and the magic continues. Until intermission….

Intermission:

a short interval between the acts of a play or parts of a public performance, usually a period of approximately 10 or 15 minutes, allowing the performers and audience a rest.

a period during which action temporarily ceases; an interval between periods of action or activity:

Legend has it that in the late Middle Ages early renaissance (in theatrical terms at least think 16th 17th centuries ), theatre began to move from performances outdoors to indoor facilities. Theaters used candles to light the house and the stage. Intermissions began because the candles needed to be changed. While the candles were being changed, vendors would come and sell to the audience members to keep them from leaving the theatre.

Most productions that are longer than 90 minutes will have an intermission (even though the need for changing candles has long gone.) And indeed, it does provide a wonderful time for the audience to stretch their legs, go to the restrooms and browse the gift area or buy concessions. I’m used to the way that process works around this area, but imagine my surprise when I attended New York theaters years ago and they ushered us outdoors and to the restaurant close by to use the restroom because there simply was not time for the whole audience to use the facilities that were located inside that theater! It was a new world!

Does the intermission still have value in today’s world? Here are a few reasons I think it is necessary.

  1. An intermission builds anticipation for what is to come. It gives the audience a chance to stretch, move around, get a drink. And socialize. Which I believe is a very real part of the theater experience.
  2. An intermission allows the actors time to rest or change costumes or grab a much needed drink of water.
  3. An intermission allows the crew time to change the set for the next act.
  4. I try to not have a bottom line that is all about money, but let’s be real…concession sales are a part of a theater’s budget so in that regard, an intermission is very necessary.
  5. In productions that have employed musicians, union rules need to be followed, so that in most cases breaks need to be provided for the orchestra members.

That’s intermission in a world that ceased to exist weeks ago. And we don’t know when or if it will ever return. Thus, we have entered an intermission of sorts. I was listening to a short message from Bob Bixby (friend and Pastor in California. You can reach him at bobbixby.wordpress.com) when this first started and he mentioned that the Lord had given us a Sabbath. I have been fascinated by that thought since then. Did you know that one definition of the word Sabbath is intermission?? An interlude, a pause before we move into our next phase of work.

I didn’t.

What do we know about the Sabbath?

God included it in the Ten Commandments. It wasn’t a suggestion. It was a commandment.

God wants us to receive something from this time of rest each week.

  1. It should be a time of resting from our work. It is a day that gives us a chance to renew ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually.
  2. This is a time that we can spend quality time with God, but also have fellowship with your church family and others that we love. If we set this day apart we can create close relationships with others that can be spiritually rewarding as we encourage each other and grow together.
  3. This is a time we can stop and think about the blessings that God has given us. Sad to say that sometimes we get so busy with our day to day lives that the act of thankfulness is a trite thought in our prayers, but with a day set aside to reflect on the mercies of God, we can cultivate a attitude that should carry us through the week.
  4. This is a time set apart to rejoice and worship.

The day. The command. It is a gift.

I’m not going to lie. This time of shelter in place has been difficult for me. The theater being shut down has been painful for me. But could it be that in some ways it is a gift from God? A Sabbath? A pause. A time to reflect and regroup and thank God for His mercies which are new each morning.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

Dear God,

I didn’t want to slow down, but I have loved what you have taught me during this time. Help me to be thankful for each day. Help me to learn from this time of intermission. Bring the rest for my soul. Thank you for the blessings that you have brought during this time and the mercy you have shown. Thank you, for understanding my burden. Thank you for the gift of Sabbath.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject! And as always, I’d love it if you would take the time to share this blog!

Until next time!

Reba

It Isn’t Business As Usual

I had an entirely different blog post prepared to post for this week.

I couldn’t continue to work on it though, because my social media was blowing up with stories of George Floyd and the details of his tragic death. Almost immediately after the organized riots began and then the looting followed by days of riots, looting and destruction. Next, people began to post that enough was enough….and indeed it is.

We know better. But things aren’t getting better.

I’ll never forget hearing the story of the Good Samaritan. In Luke 10, Jesus is asked, What is the most important commandment?” He responds, “To love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” and the second one is to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus is then asked who counts as a neighbor and then tells the story of the Good Samaritan.

Listen as my friend, Jeremiah Dew, tells the story in light of the current world.

I have heard that if you aren’t part of the solution you are part of the problem. I’m not sure if those words are entirely correct, but I do know that racism is a problem that hasn’t gone away. If we are a people that live by the words of Jesus and are instructed to LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR AS OURSELVES ….then why? Why does it still exist? Several reasons I think.

  1. We are sinners. We act wrongly. We speak unwisely and don’t speak up when we should. And we don’t listen enough.
  2. We don’t love the Lord with our whole hearts, souls and minds. And when we forget the first commandment then we don’t even look at the second.
  3. Not everyone is a Christian so how can we even begin to get them to understand the love of God and therefore how could they understand how to love their neighbors?
  4. We need to look past the recent events. This is not just about George Floyd. This is much deeper than that. This is about our constant refusal to view people as equals if their skin color is too dark.

So now. after months of living sheltered in place, months after many people have lost loved ones and/or their jobs, we now have moved on to a new danger. We now have a new unrest–a danger, fear as all across the country squad cars are going up in flames, buildings are being looted and anger roams the streets. What started as a justified response to the murder of George Floyd has turned into a criminal activity that is stealing the attention from a problem that demands to be solved.

We might not be able to solve this problem in our life time, but it doesn’t mean we can’t try.

Jesus, help us to see each person as You do. Help us to love each person as You do. Help us to start the change.

Until next time I’m hoping to be Overshadowed by His love,

Reba

Jeremiah Dew, “JDew,” has always had a passion for performance. Whether it be on stage or on the screen, JDew thrives on audience engagement. Since getting a degree in Mass Communication in 2007, JDew has entertained over three million people at live events. After contemplating a “Black History” stage performance for about 18 months, “One Voice: A Black History Narrative” was born, and debuted at the Warehouse Theatre in Greenville, SC, in 2011. You can contact Jeremiah at https://onevoiceshow.com/meet-jdew/

The Power of Words

During this time of shelter-in-place I have really struggled to recognize what my purpose should be. I have always been an extremely active person. Even though I was shy, I wasn’t really a wallflower. I would always volunteer and work behind the scenes of anything that was going on. Soooo. now they told me I had to stay at home….basically alone. What is it that you want me to do, Lord???

I have bounced around quite a bit from day-to-day, but in the midst I joined a writer’s conference called : She Writes for Him. Wow, what an incredible three days. It was actually much more like a shelter-in-place ladies’ retreat, but it was such a blessing. My top take away? I don’t have to write a book to be considered a writer. In fact, I’m a writer even if all I do is write letters or cards. Honestly, I never thought about it that way before. It makes perfect sense. Every word you write or speak has such possibility and power.

To cement my thought process I have been taking an instagram course in which the instructor asked us to define our “soul essence.” Or, what is the main thing you want people to know about you–what makes you uniquely you? That was difficult, but I came up with this: “Encouraging others to have a voice-either, spoken, written or performed and the confidence to use it.”

In light of those two ideas I decided to repost this from the past.

So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.–

James 3:5-8

During my sophomore year in college my roommate decided we should all memorize the Book of James together. I’m sorry to say that in all my years before the verses I had committed to memory did not include the wonderful truths in the book of James. Looking back on it, I don’t even really remember studying it much before that time. All of a sudden that book changed my life. I often tell people it was written just for me. The picture of  all the wickedness of the tongue burns in my memory.

  1. The tongue is a fire
  2. It is full of deadly poison
  3. It is a small member of the body but makes great boasts
  4. We have tamed every kind of creature, but cannot tame the tongue

To summarize our tongues are powerful, uncontrollable, evil and hurtful. Wow. Think about that for a moment. As much as we may try we often say things that we regret. Things that hurt others. And things that we cannot take back.

I have a vivid memory of someone that got angry at me and wrote me a note and then asked for it back. They wanted to change what they had written because they had regrets. I said no. Now you are probably thinking I am a cruel person, but it wasn’t because I didn’t forgive them. It was because a word spoken or written can never be taken back. That alone should cause us to think twice before we open our mouths.

So if the tongue can do that much damage can it do that much good as well?

Proverbs 16:24 “Kind words are like honey–sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”

Proverbs 18:4 “A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.”

Proverbs 18:20 “Words satisfy the soul as food satisfies the stomach; the right words on a person’s lips bring satisfaction.”

The words tongue, lips, mouth and words are used over 170 times in the Bible. Our words have such power. Many of us speak hundreds of words a minute and thousands over an hour. How are you going to use yours today?

 

Please take a moment to share your words! I’d love to hear them!

Until next time!

Reba