A lot of things can happen during a show week. When you’re forced to spend almost thirty hours in one week with the same group of people, crazy things are bound to happen.
Brigadoon was last week and, like most of the “fun” things I try to do on campus, God managed to wrangle his way into it.
I’m not going to talk about the show its self–although it was totally awesome, everybody in the cast did a fantastic job, the crew rocked as did the pit, and the male lead was absolutely wonderful (I think he’s super cute too. For anyone who doesn’t know, Quinn, my boyfriend, was the lead).
The really cool stuff was what happened with my friend group back stage, after the show, exhausted, and just hanging out.
I don’t know if you have ever gotten a verse stuck in your head, but the whole week I had the same one.
John 13:35 states, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
This verse is right after Jesus has washed his disciple’s feet, had the Passover meal, and called out Judas for his future betrayal. Not to make an understatement, but these disciples were going through or about to go through some pretty serious stress: a lot of it in their relationships with one another.
When Jesus was crucified, I wonder how many of them thought their whole group would separate forever. I mean, in all logical reality, the twelve of them never should have been together to begin with. They were an odd group to say the least.
However, when I think about the church of Acts it talks about them eating meals together, meeting at each others’ houses every night, praying for one another, and confessing their sins to one another. Later on it is obvious how much Paul loves everybody in the church and how much they loved Paul.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” right after Jesus told them to love one another as he loves them.
This whole idea had been bouncing around in my brain while I did this show. I was spending more time with these people then ever before. With my closest friends, I was even choosing to stay up late: sitting with them and listening to problems they were having.
Why don’t people talk anymore? Really, really, talk?
What evidence is there that we really love one another? Posting “I love you!” on somebody’s Facebook or just saying it in passing just doesn’t seem real, not when compared to the kind of biblical brotherly and sisterly love we see as part of the early church.
I know my friends and I aren’t perfect. I am a self diagnosed freak and no offence to my friends but they are far from being relationally perfect as well.
I think the key difference is being willing to tell people what needs to be said.
This could be me confessing something about myself that had been eating me up inside, or it could be telling a friend something that I know they need to hear. Both situations make things awkward.
It’s ok sometimes to be awkward.
Jesus washing his disciple’s feet was awkward.
Jesus sharing about his giving of his blood and his body was probably awkward.
Jesus telling Judas he knew he was going to betray him would have definitely been awkward.
Love is weird.
I had to think about it. Why would I want to stay up to all hours of the night/morning talking about personal issues? Why would giving a stressed out friend a back rub, helping them with their makeup, or stopping in the middle of the street to legitimately ask them if they are alright be a normal thing?
It all hit me hard when, at Midnight Thirty (12:30 AM for those who don’t speak Renee), a friend texted me and asked me to bring them soup from Walmart. My gut instinct was to show the text to someone else who I knew loved this person, and before I knew it, I had a car-full of people who had previously been gung-ho ready to call it a night after a long and exhausting week of the show. We love each other.
I want my friends to be able to tell me absolutely anything they need to, and I don’t want to have a drop of judgment for, or resentment towards, them because I know there is a common grace. I want to be a relational freak, that one weird person who will say things that I culturally shouldn’t say to people and drop everything and go to their aid like a total weirdo if need be.
That’s my goal for relationships at MNU. I don’t want to attend a Christian University, have mostly Christian friends, and be able to leave without knowing what it’s like to love people to the point of it reflecting God himself.
Two things I’m praying for this week as rehearsals no longer force me to see certain people every single day…
- That I can somehow channel God’s love towards me into the way I relate to my friends. Jesus was radical in how he formed relationships and I need help so why not learn from him.
- That students at MNU would refuse to settle for casual. We were designed in the image of a being intimately dependent on three separate persons that all make up one God. It’s beautiful and complicated and engrained in our very being. Faith cannot be purely individual. We need to rediscover our need for each other.