Last night, I described how God resurrected my hope in His promises and that He would grow every seed I plant in Him.
Let’s dive into the next lesson with a little bit of story time.
UTR Lesson #2 – Know when to lift.
So, I was backstage doing my one job at the moment – wash the theatrical blood off of Jesus in 60 seconds.
Beforehand, my teammates and I had figuratively dissected the actor into quadrants with specific duties assigned to each area. Mine was RIGHT LEG WASH and RIGHT ARM/SHOULDER RINSE/DRY. I was ready. This particular brand of theatrical blood was syrupy, so as it cooled, it resembles the real thing. Two buckets of hotter-than-warm soapy water and one bucket of warm water were on deck. We were ready.
The actor rushed into the wings after his scene and we got to work.
RIGHT LEG WASH
RIGHT ARM/SHOULDER RINSE/DRY
I started with his shins and finished with his feet.
Leg done. Start shoulder.
Broad strokes with warm water.
Pat dry. Done.
Then my department head asked me to transfer to his left arm to ensure all the stage blood was removed. There was a larger shadow on that side of his body, so I took a broad brush approach with firm pressure below the elbow. Just then, I saw a tinge of red on his forearm and I was determined to make it disappear. My department head and teammates were feverishly fueled by perfection. We weren’t in the business of making mistakes with so little time to spare.
My left hand gripped his wrist and I went to work. My right hand moved in hyper-speed to attack that red tinge. After confirming its annihilation, I reached down to grab a towel to dry the area and then it happened.
Now, I was taught that once an actor no longer feels your “working touch,” they may assume you’re finished with the quick change and move prematurely. So, my left hand was still in place.
“It’s good,” he said before whisking away to set.
I was surprisingly offended and it was less than a second. My mind knew not to be sensitive because things move so fast in theater that you can’t stay in your feelings about anything. People truly have things to do and places to be – and you have to roll with wherever they land. This includes a flick of the arm from an actor playing Jesus.
I looked at the floor in confusion and hoped that his white garment was safe. I told myself not to be offended, but it was too late. I couldn’t let it go.
“I was just doing my job… he didn’t even see it on his arm…” I kept regurgitating silently. If I didn’t get all of that blood off and it transferred to his spotless white garments, I was going to hear about it, I said in my mind before going to bed.
Certainly, he didn’t mean anything by it.
Certainly, I wasn’t out of pocket, was I? I definitely didn’t want to be a hindrance to his excellence.
Certainly, I was just swimming in some bathwater the devil made for my feelings.
I had made up my mind. I was going to talk to Jesus tomorrow.
When I woke up the next morning, I heard the following in my spirit – “He knew when to lift. That’s what I need you to do. You have to know when to shift to the next level. Know when to move with Me.”
I instantly understood what He meant.
“OK, I get it… and I’m going to tell Jesus so this other junk won’t swim around my spirit and leave a terrible tub ring around my last UTR experience. I have to tell him that I appreciate the lesson he didn’t know he gave me.”
So, that’s what I did, well… almost.
“OK, Lord…” I said in my best Gideon-in-Judges-Chapter 6 voice, “…if you want me to bring this up, bring him to me. Make me run into him or something. I don’t want to search for him and interrupt his preparation in case he has to switch roles tonight. I don’t want to make it weird or annoying.” In less than 2 minutes, he passed me in the hallway in plain clothes.
OK, he must be going somewhere, so I’ll leave him be. This is small. I’ll wait, I thought.
Another passby in plain clothes.
Then he comes into the dressing room for us to adjust his costume. He was having some fun in supporting roles since he wasn’t playing Jesus that evening.
After 8 times of either passing by him, standing near him unaware, or interacting with him in costume, I was over it.
“OK, OK! I’ll do it now!” It was the most I had randomly seen him all weekend. “This is ridiculous!” I harshly whispered to myself in the hallway.
I returned backstage (where I had passed by him the 8th time) and spilled the story of my pseudo-offended moment the night before and my divine epiphany the morning after.
He hollered with laughter because he didn’t realize he was being a spiritual instructor. He expressed his appreciation to us for working on him in record time. He said he never wants to come across as an ungrateful actor and that he admires the work of production crews. We talked about some creative experiences and I told him that I appreciated his professionalism and that I am grateful to assist creatives because I am one. We agreed that we are carriers of God’s gifts and the curators of the greatest story ever told. So, it’s an honor to do what we do.
“I don’t like to give the devil any room to grow,” I said, “and all he needs is a crack. I didn’t want this to fester in my head to something it wasn’t. So, thanks for hearing me out.”
“No problem!” he affirmed. We had a couple of laughs and ended the conversation with an introduction and handshake because we had never formally met.
“My name is Christina. It’s nice to meet you.”
“Daniel. It’s nice to meet you too.”
We parted ways and I felt like a victor.
I had attacked the enemy in two places and won both of them.
First, the lies. There was nothing for evil to tap dance on later. I cut it off at the pass with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I left that production free and clear. No residue.
Second, the lesson. I received confirmation of two words God gave me on December 31, 2022 – activate and lift.
I admit that sometimes I get stuck in analysis paralysis when God stretches me. I can churn that God-given idea so much that it no longer looks like butter. The details appear overwhelming and there I am, stuck in a stormy see of me. So, I do nothing. Then, I beat myself up for doing nothing… which then causes me to overanalyze on why I didn’t do something.
The truth is we don’t always activate what God tells us to do in real time. We don’t always move on our yes. We say we’ll do whatever the Lord says, but when He’s ready, we say wait – just like I was with the red tinge. Daniel knew when to move and he was willing to take the risk to ensure he was in place at the right time.
Maybe you’re afraid of getting it wrong or afraid of success. Maybe you’re stuck in the minutiae or feeling inept. Whatever it is, acknowledge it and take the step. Have the conversation. Write the vision (Habakkuk 2:2-4). The lift comes when you work in tandem with God’s timing. You have to stay in tune with the rhythm of your purpose.
I thank God for resurrecting my urgency to move with Him. What a tragedy it would be to stay stuck on a level after He’s ready to lift? I don’t want to be the hold up. Do you?
I didn’t think so.
Peace & Thanks for listening. I love y’all. See you tomorrow. 🙂
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