Man’s hope apart from Jesus works on stage,
Where actors sing and dance behind their pink
And plastic painted-on expressions, all
Their faces beaming from what seems like self-
Constructed confidence and joy. They find
Their strength from deep within and conquer by
The light of their own hearts. Their sugary dreams
And iron wills suffice to guide them through
The dark in time for Act III’s curtain call.
And when applause at last dies down inside
The house and people finally file out?
Mere mortal actors testify that Christ,
And not their self-lit hearts, is what they need
Most desperately to guide them through to life’s
Soon-coming final bow. And what’s
Their testimony? Their own broken lives
That fail to measure up to all the self-
Sufficient strength and haughty wisdom their
Own characters displayed to wild crowds
Mere hours before on a pristine stage.
The one who bravely vanquished death for love
Is, hours later, utterly inept
At quenching his heart’s bitter, bottled rage.
The actor who had overcome against all odds
Is soon awash in seas of inner fear
And doubt, without a single ray of hope.
And she who found her way by story’s end,
Who followed closely her own inner star,
Is left alone and wandering long before
She even leaves the parking lot for home.
How can it be? Is truth that hard to see?
It’s Jesus, not some secret, innate spark,
The actors need to make it to their end,
For hope apart from Jesus doesn’t work.
© 2011 Eric Evans