You may or may not know that my husband and I write and direct musicals. We're currently in the middle of putting up our third original musical, Grimm, and already it's been a learning experience for me.
Every time we do a show like this I learn something, and this time, I'm learning that doing shows like this is important work. Not just fun or light-hearted, but important. We're creating an environment in which kids are beginning to discover their gifts. They're making choices--big ones, small ones--that all add up to who they are as people.
We're building self-confidence and God-esteem into young hearts, and perhaps I'd taken that too lightly.
This weekend we introduced something called "The Kindness Wall." I've been really caught up in the whole idea of kindness, curious why some people choose to treat people any other way. I'm baffled by hurtful words. Baffled when people choose to be mean or speak ugly about other people. Baffled how we can let our own issues interfere with the things we do or say in regards to others.
It breaks my heart to think that any of these kids might actually believe the lies other people tell about them... and yet, if I'm honest, there are lies I've believed about myself, so I suppose I can't expect anything else, right?
The kindness wall is a simple roll of paper with a bunch of sticky notes on it. Each note has its own message...things like:
You are Loved. You are beautiful. You are talented.
You matter. You are unique. You are called.
The only rule is that you can take any note, whatever you need most that week...but you have to write something encouraging for someone else. You just don't know when a kind word will turn someone's day around.
Whenever I do something like this, I have no idea if the kids are going to think it's the coolest thing ever or if they're going to think I'm ridiculous and look at me like I've got an arm growing out of my head... but
Sometimes you just have to jump in headfirst and
Do what God tells you to do...
So, that's what I did.
After rehearsal, a little girl came up to me. I don't know her yet, this is the first time I've worked with her. She's probably eight, one of the youngest in our cast. She said, "I wrote about six of those notes."
Me: You did? That's awesome. I bet they'll be just what someone needs.
Her: I'm going to look next week and see if any of them are gone.
This almost made me cry.
Me: Did you take any for yourself?
Her: Yes. I took two. One of them really inspired me.
Me: (again, near tears) It did? Which one?
Her: The one that says You are not alone. Because sometimes I feel like I'm really alone.
She looked away then, for a minute, then looked back me with a broken smile. I hugged her and told her that she's never alone, and she especially not alone around here because we love having her in the show. She smiled, hiked her backpack on her shoulder and skipped away.
Leaving her fingerprint on my heart.