God can be tricky. He calls some people to be missionaries and pastors and a million other things that tangibly further the work of His kingdom, leaving me to ask what good I can possibly do as an actress.
I am an achiever. I like results. Accomplishments. Checking things off my to-do list. Sometimes I think it would be nice to be called to something with an obvious spiritual impact. But I haven’t been. I have been called to a profession that, in so many ways, reflects nothing of God’s kingdom, often being accurately stereotyped as selfish, cutthroat, and vain.
And the obvious answer is that Christians are called into these circles to live within them in a different way. But I just can’t believe that God has asked me to act simply so that I can minister to other actors with my pleasant rehearsal manner. I have to believe that He has called me to act because He plans to use that gift.
How? I don’t know. But I’m trying to trust. Trust that I’m on the right path. Trust that God gave me talent and passion because he wanted to use them. Trust that my gifts are valuable even when they can’t be fit into any cookie-cutter definition of service.
I received affirmation of this recently from a production of Phantom in which the role of Christine was played by a beautiful Christian actress. Watching her onstage, I understood in a way I hadn’t before that it is possible to give testimony when you’re not saying a thing about God. This young actress opened her mouth to sing and it was alarmingly clear that the Lord was working both in and through her.
My pastor gave a message at church yesterday in which he proposed that if we believe that God is in control and also that all people are made in His image, reflecting a piece of His character, then we must also agree that every interaction we have in life is a sort of “divine appointment.” When people are brought across our path, we are called to look for that piece of God in them and treat them accordingly.
Meditating on this idea, and admitting to myself and to God that this is something that I am often too caught up in myself and my own busy life to do, it dawned on me all over again that, as an actress, this is what I have been blessed to have the Lord ask me to do with my life. I get paid (or, most of the time, don’t get paid) to explore and reflect all of the facets of the human character. And if you believe that we are all made in His image, you could go as far as to say that I am not just exploring the human character, but God’s character and how it is reflected in people. And that, I have to say, is a pretty exciting calling!
So I’ve been challenged not only to see the character of God in every “divine appointment” with someone He brings across my path, but also in every role I am ever cast in, audition for, or even read. And by seeking to honestly embody these women who are made in the image of our Creator, maybe just maybe, someone sitting in the audience will see herself or the person she’s sitting next to just a little more fully than she did before. And then it matters. It matters a lot.