I don't usually care for doing shows at children's birthday parties. I caught myself a few days ago saying, "I'd much rather go to jail than a birthday party." This is partly because I don't really see myself as a children's performer. Many of my routines go deeper than little kids can understand. In addition, it ca be very awkward going to someone's house I've nevermet to set up a show. So, when a mom called this summer asking to hireme for a child's birthday party, I wasn't thrilled.
But I accepted. For one thing, juggling was to be my income throughout the summer of 2022. Furthermore, I had no good reason to say 'no'.
The mom explained that their family had seen my sow at the Bridgton Winter Carnival back in February. I rarely do a show that is not Gospel themed, but that iswhat the winter carnival show was. I believe that being a positive part of my local community can speak as much as overtly speaking about Jesus. Since this is where the family saw my show, I assumed they didn't expect a Gospel show,and I will not EVER do a bait and switch,misleading people as to what my show is about. So Saturday, I went to a little kid's birthday party, not really knowing why. Then Ifound out.
When I arrived a half hour before the show, the mom immediately invited me in tomeet the birthday boy, Cody. Uncharacteristicly, I recognized himimmediately, even though the show where we met was six months prior. Cody is a little eight year old with Down Syndrome. I remember how much fun he was having on the shore of Long Lake on that cold February morning. As author Tomie dePaola wrote in"the Clown of God" 'When you give happiness to people, you give glory to God as well.' The opportunity to bless this little boy and his family was the reason I was there.
The show went for 50 minutes, and I was so happy to see how many classmates and their families came to the party. Iremember reading that when Jesus spoke of being the salt of the earth and the light of the world, the imagery of light represents boldly proclaiming the Gospel. But salt, on the other hand, carries an image of being a subtle, gentle presence in little corners of the world. It was so sweet to be salt on Saturday.