I want to be a Christian
Stories from Transforming Love, Hope for the World.
As a seventeen-year-old student at the local state high school, I loved English and Drama. I was well supported by my favourite teacher, Mrs Petersons. One day she asked if I would like to be in a play she was directing at her church for Easter. ‘Sure’ I responded always keen for avenues to explore my dramatic flair, though I hadn’t been inside a church since my baptism! I came from a loving family who encouraged many positive values, though none of a religious nature. Mrs Petersons’ ‘Passion Play’ I was soon to learn, chronicled Jesus’ journey to crucifixion.
Our rehearsals on Wednesday nights inside St Bernadette’s were, as I imagined, amateur theatre life would be – an eclectic mix of characters, costume preparation and enthusiasm for the coming event! Many of the other players, parishioners of all ages, I chuckled, would also have been at odds to refuse Mrs Petersons’ ‘invitation’ to join her play. She listened to our hearts and tapped into our giftedness and by doing so could persuade anyone to do anything!
The Wednesday before Easter was our dress rehearsal. I sat in the front pew. A woman (taking the role of Mary in the play) was practising the song ‘The Rose’. She was to sing this in contemplation of Jesus on the cross. I can’t remember how her voice sounded except for the effect it had on me. Inexplicably I broke down. I began to cry and was comforted by this troupe of people from the parish community.
Each day since I was twelve I had kept a diary. That night I went home and wrote the words: I experienced something very special tonight. Passion Play rehearsal. When ‘The Rose’ came on, Mrs Petersons hugged me. This was the song for her daughter who’d died. I cried. The people there were great. I want to be a Christian.
I am now 29 years old and devoted to life in the Spirit. I met my husband through a parish youth movement and our two children love their friends at church and especially look forward to the blessing from Fr Paul at the end of mass! I volunteer for the church and couldn’t imagine life without my relationship with God. I think often of my beloved teacher who passed away in 1997. She introduced me not only to a loving Christian community, but to the promise of eternity by one simple invitation.