I’m coming out of one of those weeks. I’m so tired my brain can’t process the act of seeing through my contacts. Every decision I make is based on the least amount of movement possible. I’m too tired to figure out how I feel, which for a woman is rather impressive. And my eyes won’t stop crying. Who knew that blackberry jam could instigate deep sorrow? And interwoven throughout it all is a deep sense of guilt–that I have failed.
You guessed it. I’m in another production. I’m always energetically optimistic starting out the theatrical process. But somewhere along the way, I reach that stage of hitting innumerable brick walls. Eventually I break through and learn something as old as the theatre itself but breathtakingly new for me.
This week and last I was hitting those brick walls. I hit the wall of incompetence. I hit the wall of “if only.” I hit the wall of failure. I hit the wall of worry. I hit the wall of doubt. I hit the wall of fear. I hit the wall of shame. I hit the wall of “I have nothing left to give.” I hit the wall of “leave me alone.” And then there I was–naked, alone, ashamed, guilty–a complete failure.
People know how to confess. We confess all the time. I confess that right now all I want is to eat a corn dog and watch another episode of Madam Secretary. I admit it. I confess it. But repentance is different. Repentance admits, accepts, and rejoices. I could confess that I am angry. I am an angry person. I could confess that I am an angry person, but I don’t want to be. I could confess that I don’t want to be an angry person and will do whatever I need to in order to become the opposite of an angry person. But as of right now, I still have not repented. Because as of right now, I am still focused on myself. Until I accept that I am an angry person without hope, I cannot find hope. Redemption comes when I recognize that little hopeless me is covered in Christ’s righteousness, and He is not angry. He will give me the opposite of anger when I let Him do the work.
Acting is exhausting. Acting is repentance. I am standing before a jury of my peers and confessing my sin. I am guilty. I did it. I am a failure. I am not good enough. I am a hypocrite. I will always fail you. And I stand alone on the stage–naked, ashamed, guilty–and I stop pretending because I can’t pretend anymore. I am at their mercy to do with as they please. And when I let go of myself and my thoughts, only then am I covered with the words of the playwright, who knows far better than I do where the story will end.
For reasons I cannot divulge here, the repentance of the play I’m in now, Hunter, is more personal than any other play I’ve been in. In many ways Hunter’s story is my own. And I admit to all my readers: I am guilty. I did it. But Christ has covered me. Because of Him, I rejoice.