I am a participator. I just can't stop myself getting involved in things. Way back, when we went on holiday to Ireland, the last morning before we had to return the hired car and head to the airport, we drove lazily back to Dublin. Along the route we visited a living history display. I can't quite remember what era of history, but it involved a man-made island in a small lake, with a walkway and mud huts, animal skins stretched on frames, smoky fires and people dressed up. The people were re-enacting life from those times, telling stories and preparing for an invasion from another "settlement" from the other side of the lake. It was all very atmospheric!
I get involved. If people want volunteers, my hand shoots up almost automatically. It is the exhibitionist in me! I can remember the man, dressed in his costume, was trying hard to get a response from the audience. Someone had asked a fairly mundane question about whether the island was a natural one. It turned out that the island wasn't natural, but built by tree branches and things, thrown into the water. The "things" included the "bones of our enemies" and was said with relish. Before I could help myself, I was up on my feet, punching the air and hissing, "Yeah, the bones of our enemies!"
Well, the man relaxed. He had found his soul mate for the morning, and directed most of the information in my direction - getting a very verbal response.
I don't know why I do it. I get involved in films too. On Thursday, Joe and I went to see the film "Crash". It is basically about how a number of people's lives are linked through a car crash, but explores attitudes people that I suppose you would have to say are racist. It is very painful to watch, like a roller coaster of images and scenarios, shifting direction suddenly. Someone else wrote in a review of the film "it compels you to want to shout in warning, gasp in shock, cry in sorrow, and hold in comfort." I did all those things, in abundance. I don't think I am even aware that I do it. My husband thinks it is funny.
I think that God like participators. He himself is a participator, not standing aloof on the sidelines or watching from the cheap seats. He is involved.
I guess I am one of the lucky ones. My "lets-get-involved-in-this" gene is activated. In the cinema, the warnings, the gasps and the crying do not affect the film - but in real life? There is no limit to how I can affect the lives of other people.