Clint Ramos is an acclaimed Tony Award winning costume and set designer on Broadway. He worked on Violet, Sunday in the Park with George, Sweet Chariot and Once on This Island. When we’re watching a play or a musical, we don’t always think about the set or costumes that much. They set the tone for what we’re watching, but we turn our attention on the acting, singing and dancing. We act as if the set and costumes are secondary in the show itself. We walk away from the show saying “that was a neat set” and nothing more. In a recent interview, Clint was asked what he wished the audience might take away from his work. And he answered in an interesting way.
The set and costumes do more than set the tone for the show. The costumes and set are the first things that draw us into the event. Every button on an actor’s blouse and brick on a fake backdrop wall are designed to draw the audience deeper into the story. The set and costume designer use their talents to draw the audience deeper into the story on the stage. And by bringing the audience into the story, the designers end up uncovering our personal stories and the story of the world beyond the walls of the theater. The set and costumes are clues inviting the audience to look around and see everything in a new light. Clint’s only wish is for the audience, for those of us sitting in the seats, to be “more porous to those clues” that are all around them.
Imagine, for a moment, if we looked at our faith in the same way. What if we were more porous to noticing the God that is always with us? Look around you. In the set that is your everyday life, how are you being drawn deeper into Jesus’ story?
I tend to read my copy of The Messenger in my kitchen. I don’t always think about how my dishwasher, the pile of dirty dishes in my sink and my dinged coffee grinder can reveal Jesus to me. But the God that created the universe is the same God who is living with you. The sets we build, our homes, offices and school lockers are places where God is truly present. We might struggle to see God in those places but maybe that can be changed.
What’s one small thing you could do to make the room you’re in right now show God’s love a little more clearly? Is there something you need to add or something you need to take away? Whatever you do, remember that Jesus is right there with you—but we can sometimes get in our own way when we try to see him.
This May, spend time helping yourself be more porous to the clues of love that God is always sending you. And let’s re-design the sets in our lives to help us see God more clearly.
See you in church!