On Stage

While we were in California visiting our son Benjamin in April, my husband and I asked him to get tickets to watch a TV show being filmed. He was able to get seats at Universal Studios to watch the taping of two episodes of “Family Feud” with host Steve Harvey. We sat in the second row, front and center, and had a ball!

The young man doing the warm-up act got the audience all fired up with his antics and contests. That was a terrific show all by itself. Then Steve Harvey came out and he had us laughing until our sides ached. A lot more goes on during the taping than ever ends up on the show—and that man is funny! He remained on stage during the commercial breaks and treated us to a comedy routine. He also answered questions from the audience that had been submitted earlier. We weren’t treated like a living “laugh-track” but as an audience that he was eager to entertain.

During the final commercial break, Steve asked us to stay seated after the taping ended because he wanted to send us away with a word of encouragement. We did, and he walked out to the edge of the stage and gave us his testimony of how God had worked in his life. He told his own story, from his heart, and said, “This is what God did in my life, and He can do the same for you. God loves you. He wants a relationship with you.”

We were people of all ages, races, and backgrounds—and in California, no less—yet no one uttered a sound as we listened. He had won our respect with his humor, his genuine warmth, and his honesty during the show, and now we listened. “You know there’s a God,” he said with a smile. “You know there is. He’s reaching out to you because He loves you.”

Steve Harvey entertained me that afternoon, and then he taught me something. He showed me how powerful it can be to simply tell others what God has done in my life. I don’t need to memorize verses or have a theology degree but simply tell my story and remind people that God loves them. I was also amazed that a man of his stature in the entertainment world was courageous enough to use the platform God had given him to speak so forthrightly.

Not only did the audience hear his testimony, but the cameramen, technicians, producers and stagehands did, too—people Steve works with every day. I was reminded that God gives each of us an “audience” to reach out to, whether at work or at school, at home or in the marketplace. He made me wonder—am I taking advantage of the places God takes me and the people He puts in my path to bring Him glory? Do I take time to offer a word of encouragement like Steve Harvey did? I thought of the scripture verse that says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15).

Hats off to you, Steve Harvey, for a great show and a memorable lesson.