OCTOBER 1, 2002
Have you heard this one? I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some good news. The good news is: Friends of the Groom has found a new home. In a few months we’ll be moving into space at St. Thomas Episcopal Church. The church is about to complete a major building program, and in a startling answer to prayer, they’re allowing us to use an entire floor of the old education wing. We’ll have offices, a rehearsal room, a workshop area, and storage.
Although we haven’t actually been wandering in the wilderness for the last 22 years, it sometimes feels that way—especially on those days when I’m packing for a trip and I have to search for a critical prop in 7 different locations. Or when all five staff people try to work in two rooms in my house at the same time—could an Israelite tent be any smaller? But just when my whining has reached Biblical proportions…”Why have you led us into this microscopic wilderness?” –I find myself standing at the edge of an amazing land filled with milk, honey, and built-in cabinets. Please join us in a rousing chorus of “I’m on My Way to the Promised Land.”
And now for a little more good news: A few months ago our actor/administrator Jocelyn Sluka was surfing the net when she came across the web page for a Cincinnati newspaper. Posted on the page—from over a year ago—was a glowing review of our production of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” We’d never seen the article because it only appeared on the Internet version of the paper. When Jocelyn showed it to me, I felt like I’d just put on an old coat and found a fifty-dollar bill in the pocket. (Not that I really care about worldly praise—but if you want to hear the parts about me, just call and I’ll recite it to you from memory.)
Of course, finding a home for the theater company is a little bigger than finding a fifty—it’s more like discovering a rich uncle has left you his house. But these two reports of good news have something in common—they’re pure gift—unexpected and undeserved, hidden away until the right moment.
Sometimes what surprises me most about God’s love is not just it’s infinite size—it’s how long it has been working in secret, waiting for me to discover it. And that, of course, is even more Good News.