Growing up, I loved being part of the theatre. More than two decades have passed, and I can still sing the songs from the musical “Annie Get Your Gun” that I participated in my freshman year of high school.
Each year I look forward to taking my daughter to the fall musical production one of our local high schools puts on. They’re always top notch.
This year there was an added flair to promote their production of “Oklahoma”. They were offering a free event called Skidmore Days for kids prior to the performance. The parking lot event was nothing short of outstanding. From stick horse races and making pinwheels to petting cows and winning prizes in a cakewalk, it was something every young kid in the community would’ve loved attending. The cast was friendly and wonderful with the children.
My 9 year old daughter’s personal favorite part of the event was getting to ride on a horse and try warm apple cider. I loved the kissing booth that featured an adorable little dog ready to share love!
Since falling victim to Disney’s ways of hidden messages that teach against Christian values when we let our daughter watch the latest Buzz Light Year movie, I now always read reviews online about age appropriateness and overall content before we watch any movie.
I have never once done that before taking my daughter to a high school musical. The recent theatrical production was no different. I was so excited about the carnival games associated with it, I even invited others to attend with us.
Prior to the show starting, two junior high students we were sitting with told us they had seen the play earlier in the week at school. We should expect five kissing scenes and then the spoiler alert, “Judd is a bad man.”
Their mother was seated beside us. Her daughter was a freshman in the chorus, and their family used to attend church with us before moving their membership across town to another church. Her nine year old son was visiting with my daughter. The mother mentioned this was his first time to see the play because the school didn’t show it to the elementary students this year. Neither of us thought much of that statement.
As the curtains went up, we settled into our seats in the second row to watch the production. I was once again impressed by the beautiful costumes, voices, and talent presented on stage and the decor around the auditorium. We were transported into the pages of the script’s setting in Skidmore, Oklahoma.
As the first act progressed, I began to realize how much my nine year old daughter was being exposed to that her young mind didn’t need to know about yet. From a man pedaling pornographic post cards to an entire scene dedicated to teaching how to commit and encourage suicide with song and humor, I was mortified. The act’s closing scene where the main character was caught in a nightmare was so beautifully choreographed and performed my young daughter didn’t understand the girls who were playing the roles of the pornographic models nor the domestic violence portrayed.
The only thing my daughter leaned over and whispered in my ear was, “Mommy, they need to put on more clothes” before asking, “Why are they dancing like that?”
When intermission came, the other mom looked at me and said, “I am so so so so sorry.”
She knew we had come to see her daughter in the play, and even though she hadn’t invited us, we were both in shock of what her daughter had spent the semester learning and her other young kids had just watched on stage.
Our family left at intermission.
1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) reminds us, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
As we got into the car in the parking lot, I apologized to my daughter for not protecting her from what she had just seen.
The next morning at church, our pastor spoke about how all of life is worship. Everything we do should honor God. He reminded us this is why it is so important we pay attention to what and who we listen to.
As I pictured the two men on stage from the night before singing about suicide and the nightmare scene in my head, I leaned over to my daughter, looked into her big blue eyes, and whispered, “That’s why mommy apologized to you last night in the parking lot. Satan finds sneaky ways to plant seeds and take us away from giving God glory, and Satan was super sneaky last night.”
“It’s okay mommy. I forgive you,” is all that sweet little voice whispered back.
2 Corinthians 2:10-11 (NIV), “Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”
Satan outwitted me this past weekend, but now I’m even more vigilant.
I may not be able to keep my daughter in a bubble from Satan’s evil ways forever, but I can teach her how to put her guard up and recognize it when his little schemes to destroy our minds try to take over.