Have you seen the movie, The Greatest Showman? I recently enjoyed watching this fictional portrayal of P.T. Barnum and the rise of the pop up circus in the United States. This film uniquely incorporates original music and dance performance to augment and enhance a captivating storyline.

A company of societal misfits begin to embrace their uniquenesses and overlooked contributions to the culture. The anthem song of the acceptance of their gifting carries the title, “This is Me.” Together the cast realizes they don’t need to embrace the negative opinions and comments projected by others. They no longer choose to remain hidden, but accept all of who they have been designed to be as unique and beautiful. You could say, they come to accept themselves for who they are, as their true authentic selves. For a Christian, this looks like embracing our identity as created and loved by the God of the universe for His glory and our good. 

The primary vocalist experienced not only transformation as a fictional character, but also as herself in her own personal journey. For many rehearsals she stood behind the music stand, singing the lyrics. Admittedly, the music stand offered a type of protection, a barrier, for her to remain removed and hidden from the depth of expression waiting to flow out.

Music stand – a rack or frame on which written or printed music is supported. A stand which creates a type of barrier between the musician and audience.

After a number of rehearsals, the singer began to embrace the strength of the narrative of the song gaining strength to move from timidity to boldness. She stepped out from behind the music stand and a visible metamorphosis occurs. Her voice raises confidently, her body moves empowered, and her character portrays strength and dignity in her personhood. It is beautiful. Watch the transformation at the link below.

I find myself struck with the phrase: “step out from behind the music stand.” Pondering this phrase and its application captivate my conversation with God and His design for me and others.

What do I hide behind? The music stand provided support and comfort to the vocalist and cast. She believed safety existed behind the stand. However, the stand seemed to create a false sense of security as it trapped her from fully embracing and living out her talents with the song’s performance. In what ways do I espouse a false sense of security standing behind barriers placed by both myself and others? What about you?

I am learning that sometimes I have hidden my opinions, ideas, and experiences from others by conforming to their perspectives, thoughts, and encounters in life. I “stand” behind what others share, falsely believing my input is unnecessary and unwelcome. This reveals faulty thinking. What if the insights God gives me are crucial to situations and offer discernment and understanding? If I fail to step out from behind the proverbial music stand, not only do I neglect to live as my true authentic self created by God with gifts and talents to share, but I also deprive others of the viewpoints God desires for me to contribute.

Music stands take many forms. Prestige, accolades, travel, vocation, health, culture, education, appearance, personality, etc. Anything that stands as a barrier from you thriving as God’s chosen unique creation to reveal His glory might possibly be a “music stand” in your life.

Many characters that we read about in the Bible struggled with their own “music stands.” I suggest just a few here:

  • Esther might have been tempted to hide behind her position in the palace.
  • Zacchaeus could hide behind his vocation as a tax collector.
  • Timothy’s age and multi-ethnic background seemed to be a barrier in the ancient world.
  • Ruth’s nationality had the potential to create an obstacle between she and her mother-in-law.

Consider the “music stands” in your life.

How does their presence prevent you from living fully free as God designed you to be? Who does God say you are?

How often do you hide behind other peoples ideas, control, and actions? What are ways to step out from behind the music stands in your life and live out your identity in Christ?

In my life, stepping out from behind the stand means bravely sharing what swirls around in my head. Stepping in front of the music stand represents courage and confidence in God and His movements within me through the Holy Spirit. As I allow God’s creativity to flow into and through me, my interactions with others flourish and we experience life together. When I live as God invites me, His beloved daughter I don’t need to hide. Because of God’s greatness, I show up in joy, peace, and authenticity, representing Him.

In what ways is God magnified and glorified as you step into your unique identity and calling?

  • When Esther moved around the “stand,” God used her to preserve a nation.
  • Zacchaeus dined with Jesus, embraced the salvation of God, and corrected the wrongs he engaged as a tax collector, as he stepped aside from the obstacles in his life.
  • Timothy became a significant apostle of Jesus Christ, confidently leading the church in Ephesus in spite of the racial and age barriers.
  • Ruth married Boaz and gave birth to Obed, who would be the grandfather of King David – the line from which Jesus Christ was born. Moving beyond the stand for Ruth meant joining in God’s salvific mission for humankind.

By the grace of God, we can all proclaim, This is Me as we live out our identity and calling in Jesus Christ. We each walk a path with the God of the universe, fulfilling His ultimate design and plan using the special talents, gifts, and passions He endows within our soul. Live boldly for Him.

Move out from behind the music stands in your life and experience “life to the full” for God’s glory.

Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.

Esther 4:14 –  For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?

Luke 19:1-10 –  Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.

Os Guinness. The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life. Nashville, TN. 2018.

Christy Wright. Living True: 40 Days to Get Back to You.  Franklin, TN. 2020.

Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.

Keala Settle and The Greatest Showman Ensemble. This is Me (The story behind the making of the movie). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLFEvHWD_NE

The Greatest Showman. This is Me (Official Lyric Video). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rj4Yu9Utdw0

Hillsong Worship. Who You Say I Am. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKw6uqtGFfo