Anna Leonowens and the King of Siam

Pictures were allowed only before and after the performance.

Shall we dance?

Today my family and I attended a local production of the King and I, that wonderful story of the king of Siam who hired the schoolteacher Anna Leonowens, a widow, to teach his children.

 The teacher soon discovers that the king’s stubborn nature will be the most challenging obstacle to her success.  What develops is a deep and respectful friendship between the two.  This performance featured all the Rodgers and Hammerstein songs I’ve come to know and love—Getting to Know You, I Whistle a Happy Tune, and Shall We Dance—to name a few.

Since the story is based on truth, I marvel at the courage of Mrs. Leonowens as she left her home in Wales to bring the culture she understood to a land considered barbaric. She wouldn’t surrender to the king’s manipulation, keeping him to his promise to give her a house outside the palace.  She stood up to the king when his punishments assaulted her conscience, pointing him to a different way of life. She demanded respect in a country where women were treated like chattel and the king rewarded her audacity. I’m certain she faced many uncertain moments, her life often on the line.

Where do you find your courage? Mrs. Leonowens sings about whistling when she’s afraid.  God’s word tells us to trust Him when we face fearful times in our lives.

Psalm 56:3 “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear.”

May each of us find courage to fulfill the tasks God sets before us.

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