Drama is part of growing up. As children grow, emotions blossom and require expression. Some good ways, some not as constructive.

Isley has a flair for the dramatic. She’s involved with the theater program at her school, and the production she was in this past weekend provided her with her very first speaking role.

She had her own microphone. Her comment delighted me. “I’m the tenth most important person in the production; I have mic number ten.”

What made it memorable was the humor in her lines. She was the comic interlude, the one with the unexpected and entertaining responses. Her timing and delivery were impeccable.

It was a delight watching all the performers., a picture of mini-actors and actresses in training, with smiles and gestures bigger than life, voices full of emotion.

They all wanted to perform. And when the standing ovation came at the end, Isley glowed like she’d just won an Oscar.

The stage was full of facial light bulbs aglow with the adoration of the appreciative crowd.

It’s amazing how early we learn to perform, to seek the favor of others through what we do. Isley and her group of fellow actors practiced diligently for months for this performance, needing time to perfect the songs and dances at home.

We learn from a young age what is acceptable behavior which gains favor and affirmation and what attitudes and actions will bring speedy reprisals. We become attuned to what works for us, in our families, our environment, with those who people our stories.

We craft our behavior accordingly.

People everywhere have a need to belong, to be part of something greater than themselves even if it’s a small family unit. We learn to put on performances so that we may be chosen or preferred.

Even if it really isn’t us.

One of my favorite books of late is a children’s book called, “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse” by Charlie Mackesy. His drawings are fanciful, but his words are wise and insightful.

The boy is speaking to the mole, concerned about so many things in life. “‘Sometimes I worry you’ll all realize I’m ordinary,’ said the boy. ‘Love doesn’t need you to be extraordinary,’ said the mole.”

The boy speaks what all of us feel at least some of the time in our lives. That who we are is ordinary and unworthy of being seen, known, or loved.

Real love doesn’t need us to be extraordinary. The only One who sees us clearly, knows us perfectly, and loves us without conditions is God.

We all want to love that way. And for certain people at certain times we are able to deliver that kind of unselfish compassion and care.

We don’t have the ability to sustain such love. We become angry with how we’re treated, disappointed with what someone says about us or to us, and our love diminishes–not because we’re ordinary but because we’re not inherently good.

God knows us and doesn’t need us to perform for Him. We don’t have to work ourselves into His favor for He doesn’t rate the acceptability of our actions.

He loves.

That kind of love doesn’t need us to be extraordinary.

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