Friday night I took my best friend to Wicked for her birthday.
Can I just pause and say…? WOW! Not only was the story great, the performance was stellar (even the singing) and the stage effects were eye-popping!!Oh..and the suspense!? I was guessing the whole time.
It’s the story of how the Wicked Witch of the West became to be known as such. How often do we see a story at a point in time and forget about the journey before or after? This is where the brilliance of Wicked comes in: it dives into the journey, the truth and the happily ever after.
I found myself relating to Elphaba (the green girl with power she didn’t understand or belive in.
(And yes…Elphaba would later be called Wicked Witch of the West)…a label given to her by others.
Oddly, the only flaw Elphaba carries is her inability to see herself for who she really is.
You see, Elphaba is riddled with guilt. She blames herself for her sister’s misfortune and so she expects her family, her peers and even authority figures to look at her with the same contempt she feels for herself. She tries to mute every longing she has to be wanted, beautiful and popular because she is convinced it is not hers to ever have. And the few people who see past her green skin and tough facade and try to love her, she pushes away. Though she longs for their love and acceptance above all, she fears that she doesn’t deserve happiness. Her only hope is that if she tries hard enough, she will earn the privilege of meeting the Great and Wonderful Oz. Her greatest prayer is that he will transform her out of her ugly green skin so she can then be free from the curse she carries: unworthiness.
When Elphaba encounters Mrs. Perfect, AKA GLinda, she is reminded of everything she wants but tells herself she will never have. Even when she is encouraged to embrace her longings, she responds, “I’m not THAT girl.” In Elphaba’s mind, she is not, and will never be beautiful, lavished with love or worthy of favor.
You may be asking yourself how I got such great insight into the character or if I just have a great memory? I don’t. I’m just pouring out facts that are in my heart. Truth is, I could have written Elphaba’s character. Truth is, I feel like her most of the time.
It was enlightening to watch my own fears, behaviors and blindness on stage. I was so frustrated with the character’s inability to SEE how great and talented she was: to see her gifts for what they really could do. How could she allow her incorrect view of herself ruin her chance for happiness? All she had to do was BELIEVE!
I wanted to shout at her for running away from the ones that offered love. Could you imagine me standing up in the middle of the theatre shouting, “You fool! He loves you! Let him love you!”
I was frustrated because I loved her. I wanted her to see herself as the audience saw her. I wanted every good and beautiful thing for her.
Isn’t this how God must feel watching our story unfold on the stage of life?
How it must break His heart that we are so close, yet so far from seeing the true potential of our destiny.
Elphaba actually IS what she thinks she is NOT. “Wicked” is NOT who she really is. So who is she? Who am I? And who are YOU?
- Gifted and kind.
- Forgiven. Loved.
- A world changer.
- A life-giver.
- Beautiful, inside and out.
- Chosen. Not forgotten.
You are loved unconditionally, beyond measure and every good and meaningful thing in this life IS within your grasp. You are THAT girl.