Sunday, March 14, 2010

Show #12 "Second Chances For Grace" with Breathing Space Ministries

There are so many good reasons for me to see this particular show.

First, this is an independent production put together by a Christian ministry team. Their purpose, as shared by their mission statement is to be "a Christian theatre, multi-media entertainment ministry dedicated to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ through testimonies of salvation, grace, and love."

"Grace" is their inaugural theatrical production. As a Christian artist, I applaud this type of venture both on artistic and religious grounds.

Secondly, Breathing Space Ministries is the brainchild of Kiki Yeung Johnson and her husband Kevin Johnson. I also applaud the independent spirit of those theatre artists who tread off the beaten path and create something new, original and straight-from-the-heart. The fact that Ms. Yeung is also a fellow Asian American artist makes me applaud even louder.

Thirdly, "Grace" is a dramatization of Ms. Yeung's personal testimony of her struggles and triumph over such hardships as hemolytic anemia, hypothyroidism, hyperthyrodism, and chronic fatigue that lead to compulsive and binge eating, and an obsession with perfection and staying thin. For anyone to put her life up on display in order to encourage others who may also struggle with eating disorders and personal chaos is more than admirable. Again, I applaud this.

Lastly, my son Tim plays her younger brother Joseph and (gulp!) God. Once again, I applaud very, very loudly. I mean, how many women can claim they are the Mother of God???

From a strictly theatrical viewpoint, there were a few gaping holes in the fabric of this play. Tim tells me that one of the actresses fell ill and her contribution to the story had to be edited out at the last minute. That explains some of it.

But even aside from that, there were times when the play just didn't work. The scenes were awkward, some of the actors were poorly cast or simply not up to the task of portraying their roles on stage. A curious and annoying addition of a sock puppet failed to add humor to the script. It only added to the confusion and awkwardness.

But, somewhere toward the end of the story, my heart was suddenly moved.

God came into the heart of the story and dwelt among us. His message was of His unconditional love toward Grace (Ms. Yeung's character). He sought her, spoke tenderly toward her and wrapped her in His loving arms. Just like He does to all of us.

What a wonderful way to end a play. But, it really isn't the end. "Second Chances for Grace" is simply episode one. There will be other episodes in the near future, continuing Ms. Yeung's story of love and healing. God was at work during this play and will be at work in the future.

For that, I applaud again. In fact, for my Heavenly Father, I give a standing ovation. Bravo! And Praise the LORD!!

Graphics courtesy of Breathing Space Ministries

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