This story comes from a book by Robert Fulghum called, “Uh-Oh,” and it tells the story of a boy named Norman.
Do you remember when you were in elementary school and you did school plays?
Well, do you remember sitting in class when the teacher would announce the name of the play you would be doing and everyone automatically raised their hand for the parts they wanted?
This is where we pick up the story from the book “Uh-Oh.”
The play for this year is Cinderella:
Well you know what happened: Every girl was like…I want to be Cinderella. Every boy was like…I want to be Prince Charming.
Realizing the not everyone could have the same parts, students started shouting, “I want to be the wicked step-mother, or I want to be the ugly stepsister” The teacher was able to get everyone a part, but of course who…Norman.
Norman was the quiet kid in the class who didn’t like to talk much, and really didn’t like playing with the other students. Really, Norman had a mind of his own and was perfectly content on with being himself.
The teacher new that Norman didn’t have a part and told him, “I’m sorry Norman but there doesn’t seem to be any parts left for you, but I am sure we can find you something.” So she asked him what character he would like to be?
Norman replied, “I would like to be the pig.”
“Pig? There’s no pig in Cinderella.”
Norman smiled and said…”There is now!”
Norman designed his own costume complete with styrofoam nose, pink long underwear, and a pink pipe cleaner tail. Norman’s pig followed Cinderella everywhere she went. When Cinderella was happy, the pig was happy. When Cinderella was sad, the pig was sad
You could tell the entire mood of the play, at that moment, by looking at Norman. During the climactic scene when the handsome prince puts the glass slipper on Cinderella, Norman’s pig went crazy dancing, and barking. During rehearsal the teacher tried to explain that even if there was a pig in the story, he wouldn’t bark.
Norman smiled and said…”This pig barks!”
At the curtain call, guess who received a standing ovation? Norman the barking pig.
Here’s a secret worth considering today: We are all barking pigs.
You see Norman was stubborn! Norman refused to believe that he didn’t belong, or had no place! Rather then the script limiting Norman, Norman found a way to enhance the script, to fill it full of life and laughter and surprise. Norman was so like Jesus!
Listen: The religious leaders of Jesus’ day had written the script for the Messiah. When Jesus announced that he was the Messiah, the Pharisees and others screamed at him, “there’s no Jesus in the Messiah script.”
Then they gave him a list of things that the Messiah would NEVER do:
- The Messiah would never hang out with losers
- The Messiah would never break all the rules
- The Messiah would never question our leadership
- The Messiah would never make friends with drunks, prostitutes, and greedy money-grubbers.
Jesus smiled and said…”This Messiah does!”
Jesus’ instructions to his disciples it so be Barking Pigs!
Mathew 10:8 (NLT) 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!
His instructions continue in Matthew 10:16-20:
- (v. 16) I’m sending you out as sheep among wolves
- (v. 17) You WILL be handed over to the courts to be flogged and whipped
- (v. 18) You WILL stand trial before governors and kings
- (v. 19) WHEN you are arrested
- (v. 22) ALL nations will hate you because you are my followers
You too may be challenged today just as Jesus was:
- Jesus’ disciple’s would never hang out with losers
- Jesus’ disciple’s would never break all the rules
- Jesus’ disciple’s would never question our leadership
- Jesus’ disciple’s would never make friends with drunks, prostitutes, and greedy money-grubbers.
If that’s the case, just look at them and say, “This disciples does!”