A Play or a Musical is more than just words or lyrics. It is a whole world created out of dialogue, lyrics, scenery and costumes. While the audience might be sitting in an auditorium in Coldwater, 2018, the show they are watching invites them into a whole different world and, quite often, era. “The King And I” is set in far-off Siam, during the American Civil war. If everything works and all of the other elements of the show come together, then the audience magically leaves their time and place and enters into a completely different location and time-zone. In short, they are drawn in.
To be told, as an actor, that you drew the audience in, is the highest possible compliment. It means that they became part of the story, that they were engaged by the words and music, that their hearts, minds and maybe even their souls, were transported into the world you helped create. There is no greater feeling than to have brought a story alive in such a way that the listener became part of that imaginary time and place.
Being “drawn in” isn’t limited to the theatre, however. Engaging people, folks who are interesting or do interesting things, have a way of drawing you into their unique world. A teacher draws her students into a place of learning and understanding. A waiter draws you into a place of comfort and ease so that you can enjoy your meal and perhaps even dare to try something you’ve never tried before. Being drawn in isn’t limited to professions or callings; we all have a certain gift of drawing others into our lives. When we’re sick or sad, good people come to our side with words or deeds to comfort and heal us. When we’re motivated by a cause, our supporters stand by our sides in solidarity. Even the simple act of being ourselves draws folks close to us in friendship and caring relationships.
Being drawn into a play or a person’s life changes us. We learn something about people or world events from a well-done musical; we expand our circle of care and broaden our horizons in the friends and acquaintances that draw us into their lives, or that we draw into ours. To be drawn in is to be empowered to walk alongside a worthy cause or to mature and grow when we encounter someone or something new and strange.
Our Creator God can seem remote and distant; how can we approach an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving and so much greater-than-us being who lives in heaven? But through caring people, and through Jesus Himself, we can be drawn into God’s heart. Being made in a unique expression of God’s image, each of us reveals our Creator in our own way, and in turn, we can see different aspects of God in the people who truly reflect our Creator’s image. In other words, those who follow Christ’s example of love, service and caring don’t just draw folks into their lives; they draw them into God’s love. I don’t know about you, but I think it would be the highest compliment I could receive if someone told me I had drawn them into God’s own heart.