Last Saturday was one of those days. We discovered a problem with our sound system at the Friday night rehearsal. Saturday morning we were all perplexed, but eventually thought we had it resolved, or at least had figured out a “work-around.” We did a final sound check, and it looked like everything was going to work.
Before the play, Glenn told the cast that something amazing must be going to happen, because we had been getting all kinds of resistance. When I got on stage, I told our audience that someone must be going to get saved, we’d had been kicked at by the enemy so much that morning.
Well, he still had some kick left in him. In the middle of the play, over half of our sound board shut down. All the little lights just winked out, most of the actors’ microphones suddenly went dead, and the few that remained on, could not be turned off or the volume adjusted.
But our actors just kept going, and got through the remainder of the play the old fashioned way. A lot was going on behind the scenes.
While our engineer was working to try to get the sound board to respond. I scurried down the hallways turning off air-conditioners, to cut down on the noise so people could hear. He didn’t know I was doing that, so when the a/c units started going off, the engineer thought the electricity must really be going haywire, and alerted the crew to be ready to help folks to the exits if the lights all went out.
All this time, the actors were doing their best to present this beautiful production.
After the play ended, the audience was gracious, and we heard all the same things we have been hearing at every performance. The Gates of Paradise has been many peoples’ favorite, of all 32 Ragtown productions. There are moments in this play that still give me chills. When you see David, Elijah, Isaiah, and Moses standing in Paradise passionately testifying to the people in the chasm of Hades that Jesus is the awaited Messiah, it is a very powerful scene.
When the volunteers, cast, and crew gathered for dinner afterwards, as we always do, everyone was disappointed, and concerned that the message had gotten lost in the technical problems. But it had not, as it turned out.
The Gates of Paradise is probably one of the most thought-provoking plays we have ever staged, and the intriguing questions it raises have fueled a lot of discussion afterward. Some discussions have begun on the way home and continued through Sunday School the next day.
We received a sweet text the day after after our technically challenged show last Saturday. A couple who volunteer with us had invited their children and grandchildren to attend that performance, and afterward they had a spirited family discussion. They ended up getting out the Bible and going through some of passages of Scripture. In the midst of that, their ten-year-old granddaughter asked her grandmother if they could speak privately.
She accepted Christ.
So the message was not lost. Something amazing did happen. A precious little sister did come to salvation. Thank you, Lord!
You can experience The Gates of Paradise Saturday at 3:00. We hope to see you!