I Love Jesus, and I Love Theater

I watched the Tony Awards Sunday night. I love watching the Tony Awards – love seeing the performances, love celebrating the winners, love the theater. Always have.

I was a “theater kid”, and I had the amazing opportunity to grow up near one of the best community theaters in the country, surrounded by “theater people”. I spent most of my childhood and teen years on or behind or near the stage. The theater, for me, was like the baseball field for other kids. It was my happy place, my safe place. It was home.

But as I watched the Tony’s, I felt like an outsider. Even though I laughed and cried at the opening. Even though I know most of the shows – all the revivals – and could totally take James Cordon on in Broadway car karaoke. Even though I have loved theater for almost four decades and direct musicals in the Christian school where I teach because I want the next generation to love theater, too.

Even though I still identify as a “theater kid”, I feel like an outsider.

Why? Because I am a Christian. But not just any Christian.  I am a “radical” Christian. I believe God is real and Jesus saves us from our sins, and the Holy Spirit lives in those of us who accept the forgiveness Jesus offers. I believe I am here on this earth for God’s glory, and that I must follow the instructions He has given us in his word.

I don’t believe in hate, but I do believe in Truth. I believe I need to live in that Truth and follow that Truth and point others to it because I believe that living in the Truth brings the greatest joy imaginable. I don’t “shove” my beliefs down anyone’s throats, and I certainly don’t call people names who disagree with me. But I do have firm beliefs that guide every part of my life, and if you are around me, you’ll end up hearing me talk about those.

In that way, I’m really not different than my theater friends. Or, for that matter, any other thinking person on the planet. We all believe in something, and most of us are passionate in our beliefs and think everyone else should believe what we do. We all talk about our beliefs and can get frustrated when others disagree with us.

So, theater people, if you’re reading this, please know: It is possible to be a Jesus-loving theater person. We exist. And we love you. And we don’t want to be mocked during the Tony’s anymore than you would like being mocked at our churches (which you’re not…not at my church!).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll step off my soapbox and go back to listening to the “Hamilton” soundtrack…:)

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