Monday, July 31, 2017

The Heart of the Artist


Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare His doings among the people, make mention that His name is exalted. Isaiah 12:14


Philippe de Champaigne

The Last Supper


This spring our church put on their first Easter drama, centered around the Lord’s Last Passover Supper. My husband and I were asked to write and direct the play, which we agreed to do without reservations. We are writers and have been actors and directed skits and a large interactive Christmas drama at our former church, so we felt what we were being asked to do was within our abilities. What we weren’t certain of was whether we could find 13 men to play the parts or even if we’d have enough people interested in coming to see the play. Because, as I said before, the church had never done anything like this before. Nevertheless, with prayer, determination, and a lot of practice we felt the members could pull off the drama.

Satan must have thought so, too, because He worked overtime to create issues that kept some of the original volunteers from taking part in the drama. We had lighting gremlins that turned spots or chandelier lights on and off at will. One of our main actors had to have hernia surgery 3/4 of the way through the practices. After the church had spent a lot of money for a yard banner advertising the event, the city decided we couldn’t put it up. The minister’s father was put in hospice the last week of rehearsal. That same week the sound tech had to be rushed to urgent care because something got in her eye. And the night she went to urgent care, I fell flat on my back in the foyer resulting in the re-injury of two compressed discs in my back that put me walking on two canes and in such pain I made my husband call the doctor for prescription pain meds. And I never take those things!

Yep, Satan was alive and well and trying very hard to stop the church’s drama.

And we were all fighting just as hard to make sure he didn’t win.

You’ll be glad to know, just as we were, that the presentation was a success. Our never-on-the-stage-before actors did a marvelous job. There were no lighting gremlins, no microphone feedback, every actor remained heathy for the performances, not a line was dropped, we had enough playbills and communion cups, and the house was packed.

You might be wondering what the Heart of the Artist has to do with the story I’ve just told. We artists, whether we’re professionals or amateurs, have big egos. The egos go along with the ability to have the nerve to step out and do something others only dream about doing. In the secular world being an artist in any field, up front and center stage, is usually all about you. How many gold records or Music Awards will you earn?  What choice roles will your agent land for you? How many Oscars or Emmys can you win? What best-selling book lists or Writing Awards you can get? Or how much money will your artistry earn you?

Christian artists have egos, too. After all, we’re just as human as the next guy. Center stage and the attention it brings can have a powerful draw. And we want our endeavors to be a success just like the artists who act on Broadway, sing in Nashville, or sign best-selling books in New York.

But the thing that separates the Christian’s artist heart from the heart of secular artists is that we do what we do for a different reason. Is it fun to act, or sing, or play an instrument, or direct a play, or write book? You bet it is. We were having the time of our lives and the most fun working hard than we’ve had in years. Everyone at church kept praising us and telling us how much they appreciated what we were doing. We kept praising our actors and crew. For us, it was all about the rest of the crew and what they were doing and who we might touch for Christ with the drama. Everyone involved on the stage and behind the scenes worked hard and prayed hard so that the play would come together. Not so they would be praised, but so that God might be praised.

The Heart of the Christian Artist does his very best to lift others up ahead of himself. The Heart of the Christian Artist prays that one soul, at the very least, might be touched by her performance. The Heart of the Christian Artist knows that his talent comes from God, belongs to God, and should be shared with the world to praise God. Ego takes a backseat. Touching others’ hearts for the Lord becomes primary.

There were about 200-250 people at our Easter drama. While the actors were greeting the crowd, one of them overheard a visitor say, “Now I understand what it’s all about.”

Praise the Lord! We know we touched one soul, and that’s what all the hard work was about.


The Weekly Windup--Don’t forget to leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for Linda Matchett’s Under Fire.


Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. Besides writing, Catherine loves traveling with her husband, singing, and attending theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.


Her debut inspiration romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing was an ACFW Genesis Finalist, a 2014 EPIC finalist, and the winner of the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award and the 2014 RONE Award. Her newest book, a romantic comedy with a touch of drama, entitled A Groom For Mama, is due out September 2017, from Soul Mate Publishing. You can follow her on Twitter @AuthorCCastle, Facebook or through her blog Romance for the Ages.


  1. Thanks for sharing this on this Monday morning. Several years ago I attended an Easter play performed by another church congregation. When "Jesus" carried his cross down the aisle I bawled like a baby. I had read this many times but seeing it enacted was so moving.

    1. Watching the bible acted out is powerful. Acting it out is even more powerful. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Catherine, thanks for sharing the heart of an artist. So thankful as Christians our purpose is so different. I've been involved in productions of the life of Jesus through His resurrection for Easter. As Christians artists performing, singing, or whatever role our pray was always that it would minister to others and individuals would find Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. We were so focused on the life of Jesus during the performances--it was like we were actually living that time when Jesus was on earth. God bless.

  3. I totally understand how that focus draws you into the story of Jesus. Performing in church plays portraying His life can be extremely powerful for the actors too. Been there. Thanks for commenting.