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The NarroWay Blog

Chapter 29: A Piano Lesson

rebecca at rehearsal

BIRDIE –
As the opening of “Two Thieves & A Savior” grew closer, rehearsals moved to the amphitheater. If it was raining, we got wet. If it was scorching hot, we got sun-burned.

disciples in garden
people in coats
rehearsing thieves
hot bleachers

REBECCA –
And if you forgot and sat on the aluminum benches on one of those real hot days, you were headed to the ER to explain how you got 3rd degree, grill-like burns on your bottom-side!

 

sitting in bleachers

BIRDIE –
The final days before opening a show are always the most hectic, but the timeline we were on gave new meaning to the word. In an attempt to save every penny, we did everything we could with volunteer labor.

REBECCA –
There were some things we could teach from our expertise, others we could lead from experience, and there were some things that were just not our forte.

BIRDIE –
Costuming was the latter.
So we asked Hilda, Laddie and Pat. They were an unlikely team to be at the helm of NarroWay costuming.

REBECCA –
Hilda Payne was an artist and ex-wife of a pastor-gone-bad. She managed a doctor’s office. Hilda provided the creative genius.

hilda making wings

BIRDIE –
Laddie Gilbert was a head-strong nurse anesthetist who understood gadgets. Laddie could operate glue guns and make Hilda stay focused.

laddie with glue gun

REBECCA –
Pat Hammond, who is now our chef, was a head surgical nurse and a marvelous chef. Pat knew how to sew up people! We figured how much harder could costumes be?

pat sewing

BIRDIE –
These three joined forces with Virginia Justice and Tessie – both extraordinary seamstresses,

virginia sewing
tessie sewing

and a bunch of good folks who were willing to do anything.

guys cutting leather
blanch sewing
rachelle sewing
working on leather

REBECCA –
Birdie and I served as a tall/short version of a dressmaker’s dummy!

rebecca modeling
birdie modeling
birdie in wings

BIRDIE –
Here are some of those original costumes.

making gold cape
african hat
kings present
leopard cape

REBECCA –
And here are those same costumes still being used on the stage twenty-plus years later!

yellow king
kings present
african king

BIRDIE –
God supplies our needs but God seldom hands them to us “on a silver platter.” Over the years, we have heard said many times, “Don’t worry? God’s going to take care of everything!”

REBECCA –
While ultimately true, it isn’t practical or spiritual to sit on our “blessed assurance” and expect God to do all the work. It’s far better to encourage someone by saying, “How can I help?”

BIRDIE –
“Ask and you shall receive” is sometimes confused with the “name it / claim it” mentality. But there is a distinct difference.

REBECCA –
When I was a little girl, I wanted to play the piano with all my heart. But I also wanted to play softball, hang out with my friends, write poems, and create shows for my grandparents and so on.
One day I sat down at the piano. I wanted to make beautiful music so badly. So, I worked myself into a spiritual condition and I named it and claimed it!
I said, “God, when my fingers hit the piano, I want my hands to play ‘Born Free’!”

BIRDIE –
Liberace’s version of “Born Free” had an outstanding piano arrangement.

REBECCA –
Listen ...

BIRDIE –
Meanwhile, miles away from the pint-sized friend I had not yet met, I, too, wanted to play “Born Free."

REBECCA –
... I named it! I claimed it! I BELIEVED!!

BIRDIE –
I went to piano lessons every week and practiced.

REBECCA –
...Then when my little spirit told me it was right, with poised fingers lifted high above my head, I dropped my untrained, faith-filled hands powerfully upon the keys.
My mom came running, shouting: “What happened!! Did the piano fall?!”

BIRDIE –
Rebecca and I both had a desire to play. God supplied all the resources each of us needed.

REBECCA –
It took Birdie years of hard work but now she can play, “Born Free.”

BIRDIE –
Well, not exactly like Liberace...

God isn’t typically the God of short cuts.
At NarroWay we had to ASK, SEEK, KNOCK for help – as in, we had to be in active pursuit of help and solutions. It’s God’s way of weeding out the timorous.

REBECCA –
God can use failures but I’m not sure about quitters.

people bending over

BIRDIE –
We ended up surrounded by a group of like-minded people who simply wouldn’t be defeated, wouldn’t quit till it was done, and who wouldn’t settle for less!

REBECCA –
I may not have learned how to play the piano that day, but, my friend, that was one fine piano lesson!

leading rehearsal
making costumes
kings hat
hilda sewing
cutting leather
painting jewels
angel costume
purple cape
leopard cape
leather working
rehearsal in coats
rehearsal at amphitheater
rehearsal showing palace
rehearsal at amphitheater

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Chapter 30: May 22, 1997
Chapter 28: The Animals Arrive


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