By Ethan Norman
I don’t want to see what is on the news. It is mostly drama, off the stage, the kind we try to remedy on the stage. An inflamed or infected version of daily life, for most people, but not this time. This time I don’t want to watch the news because it’s true. This time I shy away from proof of the world getting worse before it is restored, even though Scripture warned us. As Theatre artists, we enliven, embolden stories, to point things out prophetically. To remind communities of important concepts, which help us to be better humans. The news seems to inflame things to get ratings and keep people glued to the screen. But, this week, I think we all just want a little closure, and even the news channels are feeling rather human.
There were 48 clocks on the Titanic when it went down, but that doesn’t include watches. There are 60 seconds in a minute, but one minute can change a life. There were 58 deaths in Las Vegas, but that doesn’t include the effects of that 9 to 11 minutes of Stephen Paddock’s decision. There is really nothing to say here, no one, not even the professional investigators can answer the gnawing question, “Why?” I search the Scriptures, in case there is actually something to say. I find moments of desperation, God’s people at the end of their rope, crying out to God. The only thing I find worth saying (writing) out loud, is that after the cry there is always a recognition that God is on His throne, and knows what He’s doing even if we don’t.
Other than that, I have nothing to say. Except this one thing: pray. I often remind our community that art should be prophetic, and something prophets always did was talk to God. As artists, there is not much to say right now, unless we are crying out to God on behalf of others. We must do this. This is the thing that we must always be faithful to, if what we do is ever to be meaningful. Silence and a shoulder is what we can give the world right now, and later, having been in this place, perhaps we can be a prophetic presence that will make folks like Stephen Paddock, change their minds.