The musical ‘Wicked’ tells the story of Elphaba, the smart, notorious, green Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda, the beautiful, popular, blonde, Good Witch of the South.
Starting as best friends their lives follow different courses and they drift apart. In a final reconciliation they realise the influence they have had on each other, singing:
I’ve heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led to those who help us most to grow If we let them and we help them in return
Five years ago Rev Anthony Thompson’s wife Myra was one of nine people murdered at a prayer meeting at their church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Attending the bail hearing for her murderer Thompson said, ‘Son, I forgive you. My family forgives you.’
‘When asked what he hoped will be the ongoing legacy of those who lost their lives in the shooting, Rev Anthony replies: ‘That we come together as a people and define each other not by the colour of our skin, nor by our status in life, nor by our occupation, but just by who we are.
Get to know each other, like neighbours; that’s what we’re trying to do in Charleston – we’re bringing down those walls that separate us as people, so that we can learn from each other.’’
Everybody I meet has something to teach me, regardless of their age, education, mental capacity or faith. When I see that each made-in-God’s-image person has something to teach me my world is transformed. Each individual is a gift from God to me; I am a gift from God to them.
The witches sing:
Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good
Stephen Schwartz ‘For Good’ from ‘Wicked’ (2003)
Claire Musters article ‘Son I forgive you. My family forgives you’ in Premier Christianity (June 2020)