I absolutely love musicals. There’s something magical about melding my favorite forms of art in one thing – song and story – that gives me that certain kilig. I took up piano for the sole purpose of learning the songs from my favorite musicals; and when that didn’t work out, I secretly practiced along to every Lea Salonga musical number to somehow gain her pitch. That didn’t work out so well either.
I used to see the world like one big play, where the main character was me; cue in music, and a throng of actors would go on stage to sing and dance along. I loved how emotional one number can get – how everything from one’s joy to confusion to pain can be expressed in under five minutes of a song. I can get embarrassingly passionate about just about every Disney song number or musical that I love; to the point that I once declared Zac Efron (post High School Musical and Hairspray) the most perfect guy in the world. I still think, sometimes, that the perfect song and a couple of cheesy arm sweeps is as poetic as any confession. Just, maybe, not in the mall or in the middle of the street. Haha.
On the stage of my life, the self-absorbed girl in me could be Cosette, Eponine, Maria, Kim, Anastasia, Gabriella, or any of the beautiful and talented girls up on stage. The orchestra would be playing for me. The dancers part to the sides for my entrance. The audience rapt to attention for my mounting emotional portrayal.
And then I grew older, and still I love musicals; but the main bida girl isn’t me anymore, and the main bida guy isn’t Zac Efron. There aren’t any orchestras following me around, nor dancers waiting for my line cue, or audiences.
All except ONE.
You know that feeling when you’ve come from a high place, or a place of entitlement and recognition and then suddenly you’re tossed into a bunch of unrecognizable faces in a crowd? It’s not that you’re all the same, but nobody is standing out, including you. Not one looks remotely more important than the others. On a selfish standpoint, it’s a boring show. There’s nothing interesting to watch; and yet hundreds and even thousands of people are those who stand at the sides not playing anything notably important. You’re Townspeople No. 8. You don’t even get a line. You just stand there and wait for the cue that makes you twirl and dance and be as ordinary as the others –
And then the Lead Star comes on stage. Suddenly it’s different, and somehow brighter, like in those stories where the color of the scene changes and you just know that something good is going to happen.
Then you hear it – the music, the celebration. And the Lead is looking at you – no, He is singing to you. His emotions are palpable and you ride with it. You feel strong when the music swells and He exhibits might. You quiet down when His singing is barely a whisper.
And love rolls off in waves as He calls you in to join Him, as He sings over to you.
And, just like that, you were sharing the moment with the real bida.
The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
Can you imagine that? Out of an obscure role behind several other people, God manages to zero in on you and sing to you, show you His glory and grace to you?
Doesn’t that give you an overwhelming sense of gratitude and love?
The Lord of the universe, singing over you.
Seemingly, the orchestra of heaven goes along. And the stars that illuminate the night sets the stage for a most beautiful, most personal, most heart-rendering call to sing along with Him.
From the crowd, from the townspeople; to centerstage, beside the Lead. He celebrates over you, as if you were not a lost face in the crowd –
And you sing along with Him.