The First to Applaud

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Do you want to know a secret?

During play performances, I sit in the orchestra pit beside Jennifer, the musical director. Usually Tabitha (one of the play moms) is in the pit with us to play the piano; but this year we have a flutist and a harpist, since there were no pianos in Capernaum in the first century AD.

Jennifer directs the soloists, the chorus, and the musicians. I’m there with the script in case someone needs a silent prompt. I also prompt the dance steps, especially for the five-to-ten-year-old set. I have one more job and that one is the secret.

I start the applause.

I never have to do that at the end of the play. By then people are applauding thunderously and enthusiastically; but during the play, some audiences just aren’t sure whether they should clap for a solo or folk dance. The play is more fun for everyone when the audience participates in this way, so I’m there to get them started.

It struck me a few days ago that I would like to be the kind of person who takes on this role all the time, not just during plays. Why don’t we all take on the challenge, first with our husbands and children, then with our parents and siblings, then with our church, and then with people we come in contact with every day? Let’s be the first to applaud.

Let’s look for something to applaud. In many circumstances literal applause wouldn’t be appropriate (though it certainly would be sometimes). What I mean is to applaud figuratively — with praise and compliments and smiles of approval.

I’ve been a bit hesitant to show you any pictures from practice because I don’t want to spoil the play for readers who are able to see it live. However, Mary Evelyn took this photo for the local newspaper last week while we were still practicing at a church, so I guess this one is safe.

Touched by the King Roman Soldier and Pharisee
Roman Soldier and Pharisee from Touched by the King, Capernaum, Israel, 1st Century AD

These two guys are doing an excellent job in their roles as a Roman soldier and a Pharisee. Neither character would ever be the first to applaud the other one!

Therefore encourage one another
and build up one another,
just as you also are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

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