Act III Scene II
Madeleine L’Engle Ordering of Love
Someone has altered the script.
My lines have been changed.
The other actors are shifting roles.
They don’t come on when they’re expected to,
and they don’t say the lines I’ve written
and I’m being upstaged.
I thought I was writing this play
with a rather nice role for myself
small, but juicy
and some excellent lines.
But nobody gives me my cues
and the scenery has been replaced
and I don’t recognize the new sets.
This isn’t the script I was writing.
I don’t understand this play at all.
To grow up
is to find the small part
you are playing
in this extraordinary drama
written by someone else.
When we first knew that full time ministry was our next season in life, I can still picture that moment and am so thankful for how God went about it. He used a dear friend to tell us that she was stepping down from her secretarial job at her church so they could hire a youth pastor. I was excited for her church and the community. I firmly believed, and still do, that children and youth ministry needs to be a passion of every church that wants to grow and impact their world. They are the life blood. As she continued describing who they were looking for my soul resonated, and out of my mouth popped, “ that’s us”. I ran down a litany of qualities and experiences to reinforce why this was true, and being the gracious woman my friend is, she agreed.
I laugh now because although we were the right people for that season at that church, that picture of who I thought we were was not accurate. Well, it was accurate in the world I lived at that moment. Yes, I was hospitable with people I liked and made plans at my own leisure with. We did like to connect with people, that we enjoyed, when we had time and energy. I found out that these, and so many more of our talents and gifts were very under developed. I had no idea, because even church was somewhere I was challenged and connected by choice. We had chosen the pastor we learned from, and church we attended. We chose the ministries we were part of, so of course I thought I was strong in these things. I was set up to succeed in my own power and strength which I would find lacking as we entered this new season.
The Madeleine L’Engle poem is so perfect. Only I did not know I was writing my own script and dreamily adding a new scene where as she says, “I thought I was writing this play with a rather nice role for myself small, but juicy and some excellent lines.” God in his infinite wisdom and desire to not leave me where I was in my anemic state, brought me out to a space where he would show me my weaknesses, and use them to show me His strength. I have seen Him work so many things in spite of me and also to fill in the gaps where I meant well, or maybe I did not, but I could not thwart His plans which I am so grateful for.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9