Billy Elliot and the Holy Spirit
You know, you people today just don’t know how to party!!! In my time we did it right … partying was serious business! Come on now, I mean to celebrate Christ’s birthday of all things, what do you do? A pitiful roast chicken, some family squabbles, and a token visit to church. Get a grip guys! I know serious joy, coz we experienced the worst of times when running from God, and the best of times when running with God. What you got is just the mediocrity of ignoring God. Listen to this. Yirat Adonai
I saw the stage musical of Billy Elliot … that means I spent an obscene amount of money for 3 hours of sitting in a worn seat with barely enough room for my legs, bending my neck to see around the large hat of the lady in front, and having my neighbours elbows twitch in my side. And, it bought 3 hours of spell binding magic that drew me in and made me long deeply to be there in the story! I don’t know about you, but the portrayal of life on the stage is something that never fails to entrance, and it leaves me with a myriad of thoughts for days afterwards.
Billy Elliot, the stage musical, is harsh and filled with coarse language, and tells the story of overcoming the disadvantages of poverty. In a way the bad language doesn’t really offend, because it’s so true to life (Imagine someone from a squatter camp saying in a highbrow British accent, “Oh you scoundrel” – it just wouldn’t work. We would expect “Jou bliksem skelm”, or much worse). But, transcending the crudity of language, rising above the superb acting, and within the startling choreography, the music, lights and stage, was a story that unfolded about transformation for each and all of the characters. It resonated so much with me as being akin to the transformation that can be brought by the Holy Spirit. Yet we struggle so often to convey to others what it’s like to know the reality of the Holy Spirit in us. I wish we could have the stage musical of “Billy Elliot and the Holy Spirit”, maybe people would then understand and develop a longing for the same.
Near the end of the Billy Elliot story one of his teachers asks, “What does it feel like to dance?” He pauses, and goes into a superb song and dance number, which for me was a wonderful metaphor about what it’s like to live with the Holy Spirit. Here is the first part of the lyrics:
I can't really explain it,
I haven't got the words
It's a feeling that you can't control
I suppose it's like forgetting, losing who you are
And at the same time something makes you whole
It's like that there's a music playing in your ear
And I'm listening, and I'm listening
and then I disappear
And then I feel a change
Like a fire deep inside
Something bursting me wide open impossible to hide
And suddenly I'm flying,
flying like a bird
Like electricity, electricity
Sparks inside of me, and I'm free
These words evoke some sense of what I’m struggling to convey. I can’t perform the musical, but I can pray, I can speak, I can write, and I can live, and maybe one day God will use one of these things to breach the dam and let the mystery flow more strongly in us. And then we won’t have to pay an exorbitant price to sit in an uncomfortable chair and watch it from afar. Instead we’ll be on the stage, we’ll be playing the lead, and we’ll be Billy Elliot and the Holy Spirit.
 Editors note: Mordecai can be a bit cryptic at times, I suggest you read Esther 9.