When Heaven Invades The Stage

By Fabiano Altamura

“All the world’s a stage” - William Shakespeare

It was curtain call and over a thousand people stood clapping in a rapturous ovation. I observed the audience as tears streamed down my face.  Why was I crying? I’d had been here hundreds of times before.  But this was different.  My heart pounded as my tears turned to internal sobs.

Countless performances flashed before my eyes. But none felt like this. Something Sacred had just taken place: The Stage had become the Sanctuary and I was in the inner most part.  Above the applause all I could hear was His heart beat. It was deafening. I was having an encounter with the Living God during a performance and it was heavenly.

For the first time in twenty years I experienced what it was like to Perform in the Presence.  I’d left Him out of so many performances: and now His world had broken into mine.

The Lord said, “Look, they are experiencing what you are experiencing.”   The audience were literally encountering HIS PRESENCE. This had been my hearts cry for years and now it was happening in front of me.  With Pastor Bill on the front row. The man who established the phrase “We owe the world an encounter” was on the front row.  What a set up?

During BSSM Bill talked about Brother Lawrence, a monk who was famously known for practicing the Presence as he washed the dishes. Lawrence wrote, "We should establish ourselves in a sense of GOD’s Presence, by continually conversing with Him." 

I started to do the same.  I would involve Him and converse with Him in the most mundane practices, so when I was performing on stage it was as if I was “washing the dishes”. It dawned on me: this wasn’t for performance, it was a lifestyle.

As the applause gradually died down, Pastor Bill left his chair, walked on the stage and gave us a huge hug.  What a moment! What an honor!  The man whom I’d admired for years was confirming what had taken place.

This experience changed my life forever.  No longer would I be able to live or perform from any other posture.  The audience felt it, the performers felt it and it was transformational.

“All the world IS a stage” so let Heaven invade it.