But instead these were moments when I sat back, amazed, and wondered, "WHO IS THIS PERSON?"
Allison has been taking a drama class this semester. When course-selection time came around last year and we met with a teacher to discuss her Grade 10 choices, there was no doubt about one of Allison's selections: her eyes lit up, she sat up straight, and she said with an eager smile, "I think I'd like to take drama!" It's been a good experience for her. Her teacher is a Christian who attends our church, and she's been very supportive and encouraging.
Last Wednesday night the school hosted an informal Evening of Theatre. Several students from Allison's drama class had been asked to perform monologues they had written themselves, and Allison was one of them. She played a man who was writing a letter to his daughter from prison and explaining why he had committed the crime he had. It was pretty astonishing to observe Allison's creativity -- both the humour of her performance and the darker side of the character she was portraying -- and the way she could get inside that character's head so convincingly. I was so proud of her.
Then on Sunday after church our family was walking home through Victoria Park; we met a friend coming the other way and stopped to chat. Nearby, a guy who appeared to be around 25 was shooting baskets by himself at the small, dilapidated basketball court. Jonathan wandered over to the edge of the court and must have said or done something that suggested he'd like to participate. The man tossed him the ball; Jonathan gave it a couple of pats and then flipped it confidently up and through the basket. The guy gave him the ball again and he made another basket and then passed the ball back to his new friend. (Nice sharing!) Next time Jonathan got his hands on the ball, he turned and trotted down to the other end of the court where the basket actually had netting on it. The guy followed him, and they traded several more shots, with Jonathan consistently getting the ball in the net -- just like a couple of buddies out playing one-on-one. Our friend was watching the whole process with a huge smile on his face as if this had just made his day.
I remember reading Rick Warren's The Purpose-Driven Life a number of years ago, and it talked about our SHAPE: Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences. One of their online articles has this to say:
"What I’m able to do, God wants me to do. We are the only person on earth who can use our abilities. No one else can play our role, because they don’t have the unique shape that God has given us."*
Allison can use her ability to write and act to experience enjoyment, and to entertain others. Jonathan can use his basketball skills to get exercise, practice social skills, and make other people smile. And both of them can use their talents to glorify God, who gave each of them their unique shape.
*Quote from http://purposedrivenlife2005.blogspot.ca/
photo property of Jeannie Prinsen 2014