“The Play’s the Thing”–Shakespeare’s Hamlet

     Today is our last drama performance of this year’s production, The Story of Ruth.  It’s been almost a year in the making, from start to finish.  All the work has been worth it when you see the Lord glorified and the audience moved by the story and amazed at what the children can do.  Even before the final curtain is down, we’ve had questions about next year’s play.  Will there be one?  Who will direct?

     It makes me ponder the fascination humans have with stories.  I begin to think that, along with music, they are among the greatest forces in the world. And when a well-told story is combined with music, we are fascinated.  Like babies following a colorful mobile, we sit for hours just to find out how it all ends.  I’ve been told from missionaries and travelers that in poor countries one can find rooftops studded with TV antennas where there is often no running water.  What is the pull that makes a story so irresistible?

     Could it be that in stories, the drama of life, in all its painful, romantic, and hopeful glory, is played out before us?  In them we can take the hard or wonderful stuff of life and handle it, muse over it, and apply truth to it.  I think stories can become the workplace of the soul, where we grapple with pain or revel in the grand themes of romance, chivalry, nobility, and sacrifice.  We can walk away from them changed and the better for it.  It was through a play that Hamlet convicted his uncle of murder.  King David perceived his own wickedness through Samuel’s story.  In It’s a Wonderful Life we see the power of one’s choices over the lives of many. And in Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings we see the grand power of love and sacrifice.

     Life, in all its bold array of experiences, is a giant Rubik’s cube, an eternal puzzle.  It is just as the Scripture says, “He has set eternity in the heart of man.”  As long as there is human consciousness, there will always be a story.  At the new heaven and the new earth, after “we know as we have been known” I am sure there will still be stories.  They will be the art of redeemed man displaying the glory of God’s inscrutable ways.


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