Be in the scene with your children

August 3, 2010

“Sound … speed … camera … rolling … action!”
I heard those words over and over this week on the set of a movie called “Hero” being filmed in Winston-Salem. The movie is called “Hero,” and it is the story of a father trying to restore a broken relationship with his son. I went there to help as an extra because my older daughter was working as an intern with the movie’s crew. We both learned a lot that first day, not the least of which is that making a movie is a lot of hard work. There were only three scenes filmed that day, all in a diner, each one shot from three or four different angles. The property mistress, Sarah, and my daughter Hannah were meticulous over “scene integrity,” making sure that each person had the same props in the same place for each camera angle. In one scene, I had a glass of iced tea that I sipped the whole time. That explains the fact that I woke up that night at least 16 times.
I went back on Thursday for a big baseball game scene, and I took Judah and Susanna to be extras in the movie as well. We will see if any of our appearances on film make it to the final cut or if we end up on the cutting room floor.
At the same time all of this is going on, we are working on a one-act play at our church in which three of my children are involved, with Hannah playing one of the leading roles. I have a cameo appearance in the play as well, which is a deeply moving story of a woman struggling to forgive herself for a serious sin she committed in her past.
I tell you all of this for two reasons. First, one of the best ways to deepen a relationship between parent and child is to enter their world. You remember playing Tag and Hide and Seek with your children when they were little, don’t you? We lived in a big old house in Graham for eight years and it had some of the best places in the world to hide. My favorite part of that game was jumping out and scaring my children when they were just about to find me. The doctor said the twitch they developed should go away.
It’s probably a good thing that my children don’t play Hide and Seek any more; it’s hard to get the feeling back in my legs when I scrunch up under the kitchen sink. But does that mean I can stop playing with our kids when they get older? Or that I don’t take an interest in what interests them? Part of what it means to “bring (children) up in the training and admonition of the Lord,” I believe, is that we see what gifts and talents and desires the Lord has placed in them, and we encourage our children in those areas. I can think of no better way to do that than to be on the set or on the stage with them, so that I can bless them in their work and their craft, and we can enjoy the finished product together.
The second reason I am writing is to encourage you to come and see “Tilly” at Antioch Community Church on Friday or Saturday, Aug. 6 and 7. Each performance of this one-act play, based on the book by Frank Peretti, is at 7 p.m. and is free. A love offering will be received to underwrite the costs. See you there!