“The Christian”

I love going to church.  I wear a bracelet that says, “walk with Jesus.”  Reading the Bible is one of my favorite things to do.  My kids and I love Christian music.  When times get tough or when I feel blessed, I turn to prayer. (In fact, I have prayed over this blog, hoping our Lord speaks through me.)  I am one of those people; I am a Jesus Freak!

I don’t remember the day I met Jesus. He was always there.  I grew up on a 53-acre farm and, as an only child, the first person I would go to talk to was Jesus.  He was my best friend.  No matter what I was going through, I knew he was there. It was safe, comforting. When the spirit lives in you that is how you view everything– all the time.

In my circle of friends, I am known as “The Christian.” It isn’t something we talk about, but they know. When the topic turns to God, I am the first person to interject. Mostly because I hate when people associate Jesus and religion in the same sentence. Religion is a word man created, not our brother Jesus.

As a born-again Christian, my faith sustains me. I know some people shudder at “born-again” but it’s not an instant crazy card.  It simply means my old way of life is gone and I am raised to walk with my savior for eternity.  It breathes life into everything I do.  It makes me view everything in our world differently– from life to death and everything in between. There’s hope.

I have chosen a career in which it is not common for my savior to live. The Lord created me­– every silly, quirky inch. He made me an actor and being an actor moves me as much as my faith does.

I am not the fire and brimstone kind of Christian.  I prefer to be the “salt and light” showing my faith through my actions, words and personality.  I want to live for Jesus in everything I do, but it is so easy to get caught up in the theater lifestyle.  So what do I do? How do I walk between both worlds– the light and the dark?  How can I go to church on Sundays and love my Lord with such fervor but know I have willingly been around sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll the night before? This is what makes me human. This is why God sent us his son. Being a Christian doesn’t mean I am always perfect. Hebrews 2:17 says, “for this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.” He came to be just like us. To live and love and laugh. God became flesh to save us from ourselves. How amazing to think one man died for us. Us meaning everyone– men, women, gay, straight, fat, skinny, purple or blue! I think some of us have forgotten that.

I believe everything happens for a reason. Corpus Christi just kind of fell into my lap. There’s been a lot of talk about this play, more than I have ever heard for a show. Insiders and outsiders have something to say. Everyone makes snap judgments about this show. I know I did. “How can anyone write a play depicting Jesus as a homosexual,” I thought.

So when I was asked if I was free to work on Corpus, my first response was to feel nauseous. I am thrilled to be involved with Heads Up, but this was a show that was everything I stood against.  I told Benjamin, “I’ll consider it but only if you really need me.” He might tell you that I am great for the role but I think I was the only company member not doing anything else-but I digress.  Now here I am, the strong Christian, doing “The Gay Jesus Play.” I am conflicted.

But I read it. Then I read it again. Next, I start rehearsing and meeting these amazing people with whom I am going to take this plunge and I realize this is exactly where God wants me to be. Each passing day, I am hit with things God wants me to use in my performance. My resolve melts. This show is gritty and raw and hard to watch. It is joyful and touching and so much more than the stereotype that precedes it.  In my opinion, it is written how Jesus was looked at 2000 years ago. It’s different and you may not agree, but it’s truth.  No one says, “Jesus is gay.” It’s all in perception.

This story is one that needs told. Whether you believe or not, whether you want to hear it or not, it happened once. Are you obtuse to think it can’t happen again? As it is said in Micah, God will bring the rain! I am part of something bigger than I am and I am sharing this journey with 12 amazing actors. That’s the magic of the theater. That’s the magic of Christ.

There will be people, like me, who are turned off by how this story is told. Just like the Romans were by the teachings of Jesus. People will run away from the stigma that follows this play. But like a ten car pile up on Route 8, people will stop to stare and wonder what the hype is about. Corpus Christi is the wreckage. You want to see it but you don’t. You are conflicted.

Though this play is under my skin, I still have my issues. I am going to use those misgivings and conflicts as my muse. I am going, “to play the shit out of this part.”  I am going to charge through and clean up my own ‘wreckage.’  We live in a messed up world. The Lord made it perfect and we are killing it. People are desperate for hope. They are hungry for Jesus and don’t even realize.

In part of my pre-show ritual, I bring Jesus into every space I work in. Each night I will pray over every seat in the house for a mustard seed of faith to be sprinkled over the person that sits in that seat. It is my way of letting each audience member know they are loved and, with grace, will leave changed. As Christians, it is our job to spread God’s message of love and salvation to the ends of the Earth. In this modern age, a simple sermon on the mount may not reach people. Spreading the message might just take “a gay Jesus.”

-Nici Romo
Heads Up Company Member
Corpus Christi Ensemble Member

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Comments

  1. Nici,

    You know I truly love you…but I love Christ more! It would not take a gay Jesus to reach this generation…it only takes the True Jesus!!! The Jesus of the Gospels. There is no other story to be told that contains the True Jesus!!! His death, burial, and resurrection and the reason why He came…our sin and to save us from the consequence of our sin and to give us new life and eternal life!!! Just give me Jesus!

    Written in truth and love!

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