Posted by: bitsydungaree | January 19, 2009

Did You Call?

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.

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Responses

  1. Really great blog Bets 🙂

  2. God calls some people to be pastors or missionaires, but he also calls teachers, lawyers, actors, plumbers, bus drivers, carpenters, etc. etc. to keep doing what they’re doing AND live out the gospel. A person who is thirsty will remember being given a bottle of water by a kind stranger much longer than listen to any sermon. Most people who need to hear about Jesus are not attending a weekly church service. It is up to the millions of Chirstians who are not pastors nor missionaires to live like Christ, and thus show him to the world.

  3. I believe you have found your calling. In fact we all have that same calling. I am continually asking God to work through me to show others His love and grace. Help them to see only Him and not me. You see, I work in a nursing home and there are alot of people there who need His love desperately. It is awesome to see people in the public eye, who have a chance to impact alot of peoples lives, come to that realization and calling.
    I will keep you in my prayers.

  4. Thank you for writing this. I’ve been thinking through these exact things- it’s good to hear them from someone else’s insight!

  5. Acting is a form of Art and in many cases it breaks down prejudicial barriers. As an ‘actress’ you bring forth your talent onto a stage and impact people lives by making an individual forget their troubles and they leave the show a little happier. As an actress you bring about social awareness through your creativity and you can use your God given talent to bring about social change. Thanks for the comment on my ‘what kind of people would wear a snuggie’.

  6. Thanks so much! This was a really great read. I grew up in a branch of Christianity that is very intolerant of others and I was miserable. God eventually led me away from that and I have found no greater joy than when I began to “get my hands dirty’ and really endeavored to study our culture. I have come to love people in a way that I never thought I could and I am a better Christian for it. I wish more Christians would do the same.


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