Another old friend who's found me on Facebook. In school, we called him by his initials, but I'm sure he cringes at that now. The first time I remember noticing him was when Mrs Barcelo, the music teacher, gave him and me the only two acting roles in the 6th grade musical. That was a significant enough event for me -- as much as I wanted to star in a play, no one had ever deemed me capable before. I'm not sure I deemed myself capable.
As I recall, our rehearsals were full of the expected awkwardness of a couple of 11-year-olds who don't know each other having to act like a married couple. But I still felt a sort of comraderie with him. And when we got on stage, we were good. Only inexperienced-sixth-grade-actor-in-a-cheesy-kids'-musical good, but good nonetheless. We reacted to each other's lines. We fed off of each other's energy. We clicked. It was SUCH a high, and it made me want to do more of this acting stuff.
We were in another play together in 8th grade: Lucy and Edmund in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe". In 9th grade, he went to a different school, but at the end of the year, I saw him in a play there. I hadn't seen him in about a year, and he'd grown -- physically (boys do at about that age) and theatrically. I was genuinely wow'ed. "He's good! I mean, he's so, SO good!!" To this day, when someone speaks of a person being a natural on stage, I think of P.J. He had a gift. I left the theater that night with quite a crush on the boy . . . which came to nothing because he moved out of state the next year. C'est la vie.
I'm not sure why I'm sharing all this history. I've just been struck since we re-connected at how this guy, who could easily have been just a blip on the radar screen of my life, ended up having an impact on my psyche. That sixth grade show lit a fire in me for the stage . . . but it may not have happened if God hadn't had a naturally gifted P.J. there to use as the flint.
Amazing how God can use people to accomplish His purposes . . . whether or not they know it . . . whether or not they know Him.
I wanna be a flint.