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Mute hunchback


Welcome back to the Dorie's Stories {devotional} Blog!

I got a call this week from my nephew...he got the part! He had tried out for a musical and got cast as one of the leads. So proud!

Our family is kind of theatrical. Not necessarily in the Tony or Oscar kind of way. It's usually in the you-aren't-going-to-believe-what-just-happened-to-me-today kind of theatrical way.

But occasionally it involves actual theatrical talent. This devotional story involves some of that kind...well, sort of.

From my book, Hope Looks Good on You!: a Comedian's Joy-inducing Daily Devotional for Women

. . .

Chapter 21: Mute Hunchback

So, I might have bragged a bit to my kids that I was a theater star in high school. I thought I remembered my days in the spotlight accurately.

However, I recently took my daughters to see a musical at a large community theater and found out the sad truth.

As I sat in the darkness recounting my old theater glory days in quiet whispers, I realized that this rendition of the musical was exactly the same as the one our high school theater performed with only one exception: my character performed a solo that I know I never sang.

My theater director must have made only one change to the script and cut the only song my character had sung in the score!

It was also in that moment that it came to my remembrance that I had previously played other characters with no vocal cords necessary at all.

Besides the occasional part as scenery in elementary school, during my freshman year of high school, I was given the role of a hunchback.

A male, mute hunchback.

This wouldn’t be a bad thing if the musical was based on the Hunchback of Notre Dame. It wasn’t.

The directors made sure to emphasize that I was mute and also that I should just sway in the background instead of singing or dancing with the rest of the ensemble.

This character wasn’t even in the script — he was written in specifically for me.

The show was set in the days of Christopher Columbus and all my friends’ costumes were ornate, layered dresses with petticoats underneath, large lacy bonnets and matching jewels.

My costume consisted of an assortment of ripped rags, a gray wig (oh, because he was also old), and a patch that one of the crew made to look like a droopy eye that I got to glue on my face for every show.

I’m guessing I blocked these roles out of my memory banks whenever I reminisced about my days as a teen Broadway hopeful!

“There are no small parts,” they say, “just small actors.”

Although I think that was something our moms told us when we were cast as a tree or a cloud, it’s not true at all in real life.

We all have small parts in the bigger story...the bigger God-sized story going on all around us. We aren’t the main character in this cosmic play.

King David acknowledges his relatively small part this way,

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?”

Psalms 8:3-4 NIV

The climax of the book of Job is a powerful scene that also highlights this contrast. After being criticized by friends and discouraged by his wife, Job began to question God’s ways.

God answered his “Why me?” questions from a whirlwind:

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. Who determined its dimensions and stretched out the surveying line? What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” Job 38:4-7 NLT

Only a few months into our early days in ministry in Boston, I felt the Lord tell me to read the book of Job in one sitting.

There were two issues with this: I wasn’t a big reader and I didn’t like the story of Job because I thought it was a bit of a downer.

I finally conceded and read it from start to finish. I had been going through a season when I was asking a lot of why me’s, questioning God at every turn and I wanted answers.

My husband and I were newlyweds and we had been living in people’s spare rooms and our pastor’s attic for six months while we waited for volunteers to finish construction of a small apartment inside the church.

We slept on a mattress on the floor and splurged on a name-brand cereal only to have the mice beat us to it.

I started to mope. I started to question our calling. We didn’t even belong in the inner city, I thought. Why would you bring us here, God?

I stood up after reading the last word of the book of Job, feeling unchanged by it. I started to walk out of the bedroom when I heard almost audibly, “Where were you?”

I had never quite understood the story of Job, but in that moment I knew God was reminding me that He was God and I was not.

He was the creator of the universe and I was not.

I broke down and cried out, “I wasn’t there! I wasn’t there when You laid the foundations of the earth! I wasn’t there!”

It’s amazing how God can remind you how small you are but also how important you are in the same moment.

The more we recognize how big God is and how small of a part we play, the more it means when He involves us in His story.

The more it means when He loves us unconditionally.

The more it means that He cares for us and provides for us and gives us peace and joy in our lives.

The more it means that He offers us hope and a future.

Reflect & Journal:

What can you do today to recognize the bigger God-size story going on all around you and how amazing it is that God wants us to play a part in it?

(Maybe draw a hunchback on the page as a visual... make sure he is mute, though!) . . .

I hope you enjoyed the devotional excerpt! Feel free to share it with someone you think would enjoy a devotional story involving whacking the anxiety moles in their life!

Here’s the link to share:

With hope & joy, Dorie Mclemore

P.s. next time, I’m planning to post another brand new devotional story I wrote for my next (currently unnamed) book! Make sure you are subscribed to get the notification in your inbox!

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