I had practiced and offered the invitation many times. This one would be different. I would be dressed in civilian clothing and I would use my own voice. I would be delivering Mother Teresa’s words from my own self as if I was reading her speech. I found in some ways Mother Teresa to be even more profound to me when I was speaking her words. I think it was because I was hearing Mother Teresa’s words from a different perspective.
At the Unity church in Melbourne each of the cast members in THE INVITATION were seated in the audience throughout the whole presentation. We were scattered amongst the individuals that came to witness the performance. The choice to sit amongst the audience was to convey the idea that anyone of us can be Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.
We began by showing a film, which Paul Madar very mindfully put together. The film showed pictures of the lives and experiences of each of the Laureates. Each of us months before chose words that described the turning point in each of the Laureate’s life’s that had brought them to the point of devoting their time on earth to service. The film was very moving and provided the audience with knowledge of the lives of each of the Laureates presented in THE INVITATION.
After the film, Dr. Barbara Introduced THE INVITATION. We then one by one went up to the front of the church to deliver our Laureate’s opening speech. Gazing upon the audience, I could tell that they were moved by what was being said. I saw people shaking their heads in agreement as I said Mother Teresa’s words “ no one is home to receive them (children) and they go to the streets and get involved in something.” As we exited the altar we received THE INVITATION from Dr. Barbara, a copy of the Universal Peace Covenant.
When each of the cast members completed their speeches and we were all seated once again in the audience we recited the Peace Covenant together. I could tell that the people in the audience wanted to read along, or follow along, as they looked in their program for the words to the covenant. In some ways this made the Peace Covenant that they would be receiving at the close of the presentation even more important.
The chairs in the church were arranged in a horseshoe formation. This left an open space in the center of the church where each of the people seated could easily see what was going on. This was the space that we used as we paired off with another Laureate. I have to say that I had gotten quite used to walking around with Paul (Dalai Lama). What I did in Melbourne was to move my vision and look into the faces of the individuals in the audience, as I connected with Paul.
When Paul and I returned to our seats in the audience after our meeting we remained standing. One by one each of the Laureates would stand to give their final words. This was a profound moment for each of us. I watched as the audience moved their attention to each of the cast members who were talking. This is the part of THE INVITATION where the Laureate’s words and the Peace Covenant are laced together in such an artistic way.
Afterwards there was a woman who came up to me in tears. She was so thankful that we were there and that I brought Mother Teresa to her. She told me that her mother had worked with Mother Teresa and that she had always had a warm place in her heart for Mother Teresa.
I spoke with another woman who provides In-School English Language Courses in the United Kingdom, who expressed her gratitude for her experience. She said she would have loved to see us in full costume. I told her that I would love to send her a copy of the Invitation on DVD. She was very happy. My expectation is that THE INVITATION may become one of the courses that is in her program.
Another man wondered how we could remember the words so well. I told him that it was an action of visualization. For me, I could relate to many of the stories that Mother Teresa’s words communicate and so I hold those images in my mind as I say her words.
There is an expansion that the Invitation experienced in Melbourne. I can only imagine the difference we all will experience the next time we offer our living prayer in The Peace Dome. •