Saturday, December 09, 2006

Her Big Break in Show Business

This is just TOO good!

Welcome to the wonderful world of live performance, where things don't always go right. As they say, the show must go on, but sometimes the answer to the problem isn't easy. This has to do with the production referred to in my last post, the Singing Christmas Tree.

Now, every year, the show features two children playing Jesus: One playing the baby, and the other playing the small toddler that He was when the Magi visited (Biblically correct; remember, they left when they saw the star marking His birth). Each year, the couples with babies are corralled (yes, these people are breeding. Try to sleep tonight knowing that), and signed up on a rotating basis to bring their baby in to do the Jesus, Mary & Joseph thing (not a scene, they come out in association with a song & do their thing silently).

Sooner or later, I guess, it had to happen. Last Wednesday night.... no baby. The parents & the baby didn't show up, we couldn't reach them, and there'd never been any call to have a "backup Jesus". "OK, we'll send one Savior, and a spare in case that one gets damaged." Yeah, He got damaged, all right. But I'm getting way ahead of myself.

This was the first time it had happened in all thirty-three years of the program. Well, what to do? One of the kids hanging around had a baby doll, so the costumer frantically tried to wrap blankets & such around it to make it look plausible. "Sally, you have to find something thicker! That looks like a 'preemie'!" Well, what choice did we have?

Meanwhile, one of our children wranglers was, no kidding, tiptoeing around looking into the audience to see if she could spot anyone who'd brought a baby. Imagine that; a complete stranger comes up to you & asks if they can "borrow your baby". Even if she found one, how could she get to them and ask without causing a distracting commotion?

Here is where Divine Providence set in. She went out one section, into the lobby, and was headed towards another when she ran into:

A young woman headed to the restroom to change her four-week-old baby.

What are the odds?

In spite of the fact that she didn't know us, and this was the very first time she'd ever been in the building and was a complete stranger (and we, of course, are fairly strange in ourselves), she listened to our plight. Bless her heart, she actually agreed to let us borrow her baby. So, backstage they got whisked, and just in time, too. The audience had no hint that anything was different than usual, but backstage, we were laughing and having a good old time at the improbable string of events. The song over, she puts her baby back in her own clothes, and heads back to the audience to watch the rest of the program like, oh, normal people do. The director not being there at the time, I thanked her profusely on behalf of the cast & said we hoped she'd visit us again soon. She was a very, very nice young woman, and we were lucky to have met her.

The pastor did catch her, though, and got some pictures for posterity with her. I'm sure she never conceived (well, except that one time) that her child would be making her stage debut at a mere one month's age.

That might have been the end of it, but when the pastor came out to give his very nicely brief conclusion, he asked to borrow the baby one more time, and gave her a special introduction, for which she got a standing ovation. He told the audience the whole story. Why would he do a thing like that, when it might make us seem kind of silly?

Because.... it was just TOO good!

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