My daughter just finished an 11-show run of “Oliver!” produced by our local community theater. She played an orphan and a thief.


Fagin, the leader of the band of merry thieves, was played by the minister of the Evangelical Free church. It cracked me up to see this professional Christian belt out “You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two.”


Since our Fagin is a pastor, he got to pray backstage before every show. My daughter told me he prayed essentially the same thing each time:


Lord, thank You for all the people that are here to see the show. We pray they would be blessed by it. We pray all of us would do our best and have fun. In Your name we pray, Amen.


Don’t you think this is an interesting prayer? If not, then you probably haven’t seen “Oliver” recently. In addition to pick-pocketing, it includes domestic violence, drunkenness, murder, and other vices. So how might the audience be blessed by it?


Well, my grandmother sure was. She is 97 and had never seen my daughter on stage until this past Sunday. Nannie cried at the end and said, “Oh, honey. It was just so beautiful!” Then I got an email yesterday that said, “THANKS AGAIN FOR A WONDERFUL SUNDAY!!!!”


We all say that God works in mysterious ways. He is not limited to working through a preacher standing at a pulpit. He can work through that same preacher playing a “baddie,” as Fagin describes himself.


At my daughter’s first cast party, a few years ago, one of the actors made a toast. “This is church,” he said.


Everyone raised their glasses in agreement. If Nannie had been there, she would have raised her glass of water right along with them.