Life As A Swing: How Theatre Prepped Me For Ministry In A Pandemic

In most theatrical productions--particularly large format musicals--the cast consists ofleads--those who are featured the most in a showensemble members--those who support the show tremendously, providing vocals, wonderful dancing, and often, facilitating set changesunderstudies-- those who are the next in line for lead roles should the performer call out sick or have an important engagement that forces them to miss a show. Usually, understudies are also in the ensemble, so they learn their ensemble track and the lead rolestandbys--those who understudy a very prominent role in the show that's usually the lead or a major supporting character. Many times, the standbys are not in the ensemble. They just cover that one lead track and are to be at the theatre during the entire show or within 15-30 minutes of the theatre should they need to go on at a moment's noticeAnd finally, the swings
No. No, I didn't say swingers😎 ... though, I mean, nothing's wrong with that. To each …

Ezra

I spent much of the day crying-- tossing around a once empty bed
that I now share with my laptop,
tablet, phone, and tomorrow's sermon--
looking for jobs--
planning post-seminary life--
trying to decide where I'll relocate to in 2019--
And daydreaming about Ezra.

Ezra--
my son.
My future.
I daydream about Ezra often, these days.
No, I'm not pregnant.
I want to be someday.
I want so badly to experience motherhood--
to watch my kid play in the backyard--
to treat the wounds he'll garner
on the multi-colored battlefield of
jungle gyms and sandboxes
with peroxide.
I daydream about Ezra--
going on mother-son dinner dates--
teaching him how to eat sushi--
how to order mommy's favorite glass of wine.
I have visions of carrying him on my chest
while teaching midweek Bible study.
I imagine looking out from the pulpit,
Sunday mornings, seeing him--
and all my children--
staring back at me in awe...
or misbehaving in the back pews
(which is the likelier scenario).
I see Ezra rocking seersucker and Sperry's
on Easter morn,
behaving like a model citizen.
And Moriah--his sibling--
fighting her way out of ribbons and bows
that are suffocating her robust personality,
running her tights and destroying hymnals.
She will be my "Pay back" child, for sure--
for all the years of trouble
I put my mother through,
I'll deserve it.
But Ezra--
my son,
the apple of my eye--
will inspire me to be kind to his younger sibling.
He will remind me of how
in the year of our Lord, 2018,
I so desperately prayed for him to
come into being--
how I spoke his name into the universe
during my weakest days,
in the weariest of hours,
between the wails and hyperventilating,
and declared victory over my life,
for his sake.
Ezra--
my son.
My future.
You are a reason to press on.

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