I decided at the last minute to go to the concert tonight. I told my wife (who went early to get good seats) to sit on the right side of the church and save me a seat on the end so I could slip out the side door if I needed to. I also asked her to grab a few tissues "just in case".
I was feeling very emotional and vulnerable as I was driving to the church. I was also concerned that my wife's family would be watching me because of what happened last year. As I drove up to the church, an older man was crossing the street while walking his dog. I slowed down to give him a plenty of time to cross. As I passed him, he yelled at me in an angry voice "people first" as he waved his fist in the air!!! In an instant, all my feelings of fear and vulnerability were gone and it was replaced by the hardened, emotionless mask that I've used to protect myself for so many years.
As I made my way into the church and found my wife, she took my hand and asked me if I was going to be okay. I told her that there is nothing whatsoever to worry about, because I just had a conversation with an older gentleman that was kind enough to give me some perspective on things (sarcasm plays a large role in my efforts to protect myself). I told her the story.
This years Vacation Bible School had a "western rodeo" theme. My 5 year old niece was adorable! She was very excited to be able to wear her pink cowboy boots and pink cowboy hat. The kids sang a few songs and they showed a sideshow of the activities of the week. I was still not in a good space, in fact I was bored out of my mind! I just wanted it all to end already!
The young woman who was announcing the concert asked the audience for their patience as they set up for the last item of the program. I thought to myself, "Thank God that this thing is finally coming to an end"!
The last part of the program was done by a 3 or 4 of the older kids. There was a large curtain drawn across the alter; behind that, there was a spot light on the floor, pointing up and toward the audience. They then proceeded to act out the crusifiction of Jesus in (larger than life) silhouettes. I watched the first 30 seconds of this and then the tears came! I quickly looked at the floor (and thought about the old man with the dog) and did not look back up until the music stopped. I was able to stop myself before I made a scene. My wife is the only person who realized what was going on. Wow! - the small part of what I did see what VERY powerful!