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  • Writer's pictureJulie Gross

From Literature to Life

I find it interesting how we can learn lessons from literature–as an English major in college and as an English teacher, I’ve taken classes where I’ve learned from all forms of literature, and I’ve taught classes where I’m hoping the students learned from all forms of literature. We can learn from plays, short stories, novels, poems, books, articles, and the most important piece of literature for me as a Christ-follower, the Bible.


Recently, I have taken some lessons from a play, a play that I acted in. I was lucky enough to be asked to participate in a play that was used as a fundraiser for a local service club that works to benefit our community. It felt good to be able to give back in such a fun way! Now, it had been about 8 years since I had done another play, so I was nervous, nervous to get back on stage and nervous to have to memorize lines!


The play is a mixture of comedy and drama, and it focuses on four women all around the ages of about 50-70 years old. These ladies all have their own struggles and drama: one is recently divorced after finding out her husband cheated on her, another recently lost her job and is at risk of losing her home, the third recently became a widow when her husband suddenly passed away, and the fourth, my character, has only her sister in her life, and she has Alzheimer’s/dementia. They are southern ladies with accents and a lot of character, and they have a lot of struggles going on in their lives as well!!


In reflecting on the play, I look at these four women, and they became fast friends, relying on each other for support and love that they didn’t receive from anyone else in their lives. It’s very sweet to see how they begin to trust one another. However, it is a bit sad to me that these four women didn’t ever talk about their faith or a relationship with God. They had no one but themselves and eventually each other to rely on. In this world, it’s great to find others who we can trust and rely on, but we are only humans, and because of that, we can let each other down. This almost happens in the play as my character doesn’t like to get close to people, and she almost skips town, leaving her friends behind.


With all of the struggles that life provides us, as the play shows (divorce, job-loss, loss of those we love), I am thankful I have a God who cares for me and helps me through the struggles. Hebrews 13:6 (NIV) is a great verse that exclaims God’s provision for us: “So we say with confidence, /’The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. / What can mere mortals do to me?’” God will be there for us no matter what in all situations, even the difficult ones.


I love that I was able to be a part of the play with some very talented women! I made some new friends and renewed some old friendships. It was great to help raise funds to benefit the children here in our community as the money raised will help purchase playground equipment for a park that will be accessible to children with many differing abilities. It was also fun to be able to look at the play and learn from the characters. As an unfinished woman, I can relate to a lot of the play and the struggles the characters go through, and I am very thankful I also have my faith in God to rely on.


Thank you for reading, friends!


Love,

Julie


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