by Ruth DuCharme


As I sit in my office on Wednesday morning, one week after the children's presentation of "What's Up Zak?" I am breathing a little easier. The stress of making sure the music is learned, the lines are memorized, and the sets are painted has been lifted. The burden of making sure that I have done everything that I could to ensure a successful performance has gone away. Now I can sit back and reflect a bit.


As I reflect, I feel a sense of pride in the children who performed so beautifully and with such enthusiasm. I feel a bit of emotion when I remember the sweetness in their voices and the joy on their faces. While I enjoy the break that our summer schedule brings, I will truly miss gathering with this group of children on Wednesday afternoons to sing and learn together.


Following our last run-through before we performed, we sat together and I asked the children what they had learned from Zacchaeus over the past five months. Many of them stated some of the facts that they had learned about him. He was a tax collector. He was short. He was greedy. Then they began to dig a little deeper, and they said that they had learned that no matter who you are Jesus still loves you. They learned that Jesus is everyone's friend. I swelled with pride when I realized that through the months of rehearsals, they had gotten the lesson. My hope is that they will remember these lessons and the fun that we had learning them together.


In the months spent with this musical, I also learned some lessons. My favorite part of the musical came at the end when the people of Jericho were shocked that Jesus would want to go to Zacchaeus' house. They were surprised at Zacchaeus' change of heart and said, "We should do whatever it takes to see Jesus...we should call His name, no matter how many people tell us to be quiet...we should climb a tree if that's what it takes! Maybe we can see Jesus everywhere, in every place, and in every person...if we just open our eyes." Wow! As I listened to our children say those lines, a lump formed in my throat and tears filled my eyes. What am I willing to do to see Jesus?


As I sit here a week later, I am still asking myself those questions. What daily sacrifices am I willing to make to be close to Jesus? Will I set aside time for meditation and prayer? Will I participate in worship with an open heart? Will I extend a hand to those who are on the outside? Will I climb a tree so I can get a good look at the Savior? What about you...what are you willing to do to see Jesus?