"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players"
William Shakespeare, As You Like It
"When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?"
Back in January, my lighting teacher took my class on tour of the lighting systems of the theatre. She explained how the light board worked and everything, but then she made a comment that has stuck with me since then. She showed us a light that flashed a rainbow in a strobe pattern and as a designer, she never uses any of the preset functions because she wants to be in control of everything she puts on stage.
I thought, "Wow, my job is literally making a bunch of decisions. And to make better designs, I put more thought and detail into my decisions." A costume designer, or sound designer, or any other type of designer, just makes a bunch of decisions!
God is the perfect designer and creator. I can choose what fabrics I use, their colors and textures, the shape and weight of a costume, how many pieces it has, if there is embroidery or beading or distressing. But I don't make the fabrics or beads.
But God. God creates every single atom in my body. He designed every leaf on every tree! God is the most creative and detailed and powerful creator! He is the lighting designer for the beautiful golden afternoons and he also created that thunderstorm. He created every single person you have ever met, gave them a family, a personality, the potential to become a caring mother or travel the world making new friends and affecting people's lives. How incredible that He put so much thought into creating me and you.
Costuming for a single show is a big task, and God's job is immense in comparison. He is all of the designers, the stage manager, the crew, the director, the playwright, every single job rolled into one. For the ENTIRE UNIVERSE from its beginning to its end! You think a three hour play is long? Try the history and future of the whole universe. We humans are the actors wandering around our lives unsure of our next line or what the next act contains, but God never loses control.
"By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth."
God doesn't only design, He creates. He breathes the world into existence. And he assembles everything into a beautiful design. I am in awe of His immense power.
When I came to this realization, I immediately felt at peace. If God can hold the whole universe in His hand, I know He will take care of me. He loves me more than I could ever imagine and I can trust Him with my entire life.
As an artist, I am immensely thankful that I get to experience a tiny fraction of the creative process in this place that I lovingly call the theatre. I am proud to be an artist because I can praise God by imitating some of His creativity.
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII
*This post can be found on my official blog. Link in my profile.