As I have mentioned before, I wowed every time that I go to Inner City Arts. As I volunteer there I see students empowered and staff who are passionately committed to the arts. I wanted to share a story from my latest experience there. I was ushering for a Stand Up Comedy show that they were holding as the finish to a high school comedy class. As I was greeting parent and friends who were entering the theater, I saw a little boy probably about 4 years old walk into the black box theater with his family and then run out crying. His sister comes out after him and discovers that he was scared of the darkness of the theater. His sister was trying to tell him to come inside because it wasn’t scary but he was refusing to come in. One of the staff from Inner City Arts saw this happening and approached the boy. She talked to him in a way that did not belittle his fears but acknowledged that dark places can be very scary. As she interacted with him she offered him some suggestions of what would make it easier for him to be able to go into the theater. She offered to put a chair right by the door so that he could be close to the light, or that he could go in once the show had started so that there would be more light in the room. She asked the sister not to force him to go inside. He still did not want to go in so they brought him some coloring pages to play with in the hallway. They brought him some glow sticks that he could wear around his hand so that he could carry some light with him. By this point there were several staff caring for this child and trying to come up with different ideas to help him.
This situation also struck me as an analogy of how God cares for me. There are a lot of risks and scary situations that God is inviting me into. As I can not see everything that will happen in this place (similar to the boy in the dark theater) I am very hesitant to enter. But God is not forceful and will not drag me into the theater. God has been very gentle with me. He offers that I just stand by the door or take a step closer when I am ready. And eventually I make it in. And it isn’t as scary, not because anything has changed but because God has taken steps to care for me so that I can feel safe.