Whatchoo looking at? (Being a Kingdom Family VII)

When I was in high school, I performed in a play version of  “The Spiral Staircase”.  I played a mute girl who was living in a mansion helping to care for the invalid widow.  There were two sons and a nurse and Doctor living there as well.

Jason, the lead male character, played Professor Albert Warren, who “had it in” for Helen, my character.

At the end of the show, in the middle of a thunderstorm that took out the power, while all the other residents were away, Professor Warren admits to Helen that it is he that has been killing all the “women with afflictions” in the area and that he now intends to kill Helen.  Because she is mute, Helen is unable to call for any help.  So, through the flicker of the lightning, she watches in horror, as the Professor prepares to kill her.  She is helpless before him.

Jason had the longest, thinnest fingers. (He was an incredible pianist!)  He managed to make the process of putting his gloves on truly terror invoking.  This simple act, while quietly discussing how he intended to kill me, absolutely captivated the audience.  No one could look away.  There was Jason, stroking one leather-covered finger at a time, discussing his plans to kill me, because I wasn’t “whole.”  The whole time he continued to talk to me, slowly and menacingly, he was getting closer and closer to where I was trapped on the stairs.  Behind his head, the flashes of lightning continued to erupt. As he reached out to grab me, the audience screamed.  (I did too, but since I didn’t have any lines, I wasn’t mic-ed and no one knew it.  He was THAT good!!)  😀

At the very moment he wrapped those long fingers around my throat, there was a gun shot.  I was saved!  Whew ~

Mrs Warren, the bedridden dear that Helen was hired to serve, had staggered from her bed and shot the Professor, her son.

Because we were doing it on a high school stage with limited space, we had to use a scrim for Mrs Warren’s bedroom. It created the illusion of another room, while also providing another “wall” to the living room.  (For the uninitiated, the scrim is a lightweight, almost gauzy type of fabric, generally black, that when not lit is opaque, but when it is lit will become transparent.  This allowed us to bring the audience into Mrs Warren’s room, without losing the stage space.)

As Jason began his methodical, fiendish walk toward me the light was veeerrrryyyyy slowly being raised, so that the audience could be in on the secret that Mrs Warren could walk.  Granted, you had to be looking, but if you were, you could see that what you had believed to be reality, was in fact not.  The bedridden woman COULD walk!  But that meant you had to tear your eyes away from Jason’s fingers…I never would have.

This is a wonderful visual to demonstrate what we are finding Kingdom life to be like.  It would seem that there is an entirely different way of looking at things, that you must be attentive to, in order to see the things of the Kingdom taking places around us.

This morning, when I found myself in the midst of a discussion about keeping the hearts of our youth in the Church today, I realized that I had neglected to offer up the final aspect of being a Kingdom family.  Imparting/operating in/knowing your Kingdom purpose.

The focus of the discussion was that we are losing the hearts, and therefore bodies,  of our youth from the Church in record numbers.  It seems to me that like the audience, most of us are looking at the wrong thing.  Rather than looking to see how to keep our youth IN the Church, we need to be releasing them to minister OUT of it.

When our kids have been given a Kingdom sense of who Father has created them to be – what He has wired into their DNA – what great thing He has for them to do, we don’t lose their hearts.  Most of these kids have spent a lifetime being entertained, so that they now expect life to be a constant supply of adrenaline rushes.  You know what?  Life in the Kingdom CAN be that.  (I can assure you, if I were hanging around Jesus, I’d have been experiencing a CONSTANT supply of adrenaline rushes.)  We can’t offer that in the Church, as we know it today, and still keep families.  (Most families won’t stick around for constant adrenaline.  There are only a few strange folks out there willing to live like that.  I won’t mention any names or anything)  🙂  We need to adopt a larger vision – one of not just living, but one of advancing the Kingdom.

When Jesus was on earth, His entire purpose was to advance the Kingdom.  Everything He did, He did because it was the heart of Father.  Our kids need to have that same sense of import.  When you KNOW that what you are doing every day, moment by moment, has value in the sight of the Most High God – because you have adopted His priorities, His projects, His plans – then you don’t become bored.  You have a perpetual sense of value and empowerment, knowing that what you’re doing is THE most important thing you could be doing.

Too often, mostly because we haven’t known how, we have abdicated that role to the church or worse yet, the school.  The school, by its very nature can never impart a Kingdom purpose to our children.  They may come upon it by default, but it is not a deliberate act, as the school is there to serve the government, not the Kingdom.  Their very bylaws indicate that.  I don’t begrudge them that.  That is their purpose.  But, because of that, it does disqualify them for helping our children find their KINGDOM purpose. It is because of this abdication on our part, that the roles of the called of Christ have gotten mixed up with those in the world.

I remember the first time the Lord made this clear to me.  I was talking to some other moms about what their children were going to do when they graduated.  It wasn’t a group of all homeschooling moms.  It wasn’t even a group of all Christian moms.  It was simply a group of moms who loved their children (as proved by their willingness to spend that beautiful Saturday at the park selling Port-a-Pit chicken and watching their kids play softball).  Interestingly enough, there was no obvious difference between the goals of the moms for their saved children and those of the moms of the unsaved kids.  They all wanted their children to be successful and be able to care for their families.

As people who have been given joint heir status to the Most High God, that seems like a rawther empty goal.  It seems a rawther empty goal for our children, it seems a rawther empty goal for us.  Somewhere along the line, we lost sight of doing all things in our lives to advance the Kingdom, not to be successful or to make money.  That doesn’t mean we don’t need to work.  On the contrary, we are likely to work harder and longer, once we have discerned our Kingdom purpose.  But, it will all be in forward motion, with a more eternal view of things, uniting forces with Jesus and Father, Himself.

Just like Jason’s hands, the concerns of life can seem so menacing and overwhelming, that they can hold all our attention, when in fact, if we’d just turn our heads, we’d see that our salvation is nigh!  As Kingdom families, we must be certain that we’re looking where God looks, and not distracted by what the world is doing.  For it is only then that we will have the courage to do the very thing we have been created to do.

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