Role playing

In theater, a cue is a signal for an actor to do or say something or an instruction for a technician or stage hand. A line is spoken, which cues a response, sound effect, lighting change or the end of a scene.

Now and then, though, somebody misses a cue.

Imagine what you would do if you were acting in a play’s climactic scene which is supposed to end with a hilarious laugh line—yours—followed immediately by a blackout. Only, during one ill-fated performance, the lights fail to go off and you are left stranded center stage. Then what?[1]

We missed a cue when an unknown virus swept across the world with sickness, death and destruction. It wasn’t in our script. Millions of people are getting sick. Many are dying. People are losing businesses, jobs and families. Everything seems to be shutting down, and not everything will be getting up again when this is over. The world has changed. It will never be the same again.

So, what do we do now? For that matter, who are we now?

Most of us identify ourselves with our jobs or careers. So do the people who relate to us. But who are we when we’re no longer doing what we did? Who are we, minus our title or job description?

The fact is that everything in the world is temporary. Our identity changes as we age, make decisions, prosper or fail. We see ourselves and everyone else in the light of doing or not doing, having or not having. So when we can’t do or don’t have, all that’s left is who we are. And that sudden realization can leave us feeling very alone and insecure.

Jesus is the only person who never changes. His love for us never changes, regardless of anything happening in the world. It is always full and passionate. For war heroes and cowards. For multi-billion-dollar CEOs and slobbering drunkards. For saints and sinners. His love for us is the most precious and the only stable thing in the world.

“All the world’s a stage,” says the melancholy Jaques in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, “and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.”

That’s true of this fallen world, out of which sinners die and enter into eternal suffering.

But Jesus came, paid off the world’s sin-debt and offered us a new exit and entrance, out of sin and into eternal life.

The coronavirus is giving us time now to think about that and to talk to him about it. We won’t be going back to the world the way it was and the way we were. We can, however, determine who we will become.


[1] Penser, Ben, “Missed Cue,” TDF Theatre Dictionary, Theatre Development Fund.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]