Part of a series of "rambling reflections" by Pastor David Riley – a church minister located on the Australian Gold Coast in Australia. Make sure you click the "follow" button to receive an update on these articles as soon as they're posted.
Charles Laughton was a famous English actor. Classically trained, Laughton performed in many of Shakespeare’s plays in London and went on to star in a number of major Hollywood films.
There’s a story from Charles Laughton’s life that illustrates the difference between acting and living.
Laughton was attending a Christmas party with family friends in London one year. During the evening the host of the party asked everyone to recite a favourite poem or passage from literature that best represented the spirit of Christmas. When it was the famous actor Charles Laughton’s turn he skilfully recited Psalm 23 from the Bible. Everyone, of course, applauded his performance and then it moved onto the next person’s turn and then onto the next.
The last to participate was an adored elderly aunt who had dozed off in a corner. Someone gently woke her and explained what going on. She thought for a moment and in a shaky voice this dear old lady began to recite Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want…”
There was a slight disquiet in the room for a a very brief moment as everyone realised the aunt wasn’t aware Laughton had shared the exact same passage a few minutes earlier, but they allowed her continue. But within a couple of lines of Psalm 23 something happened – the emotion with which this old lady spoke these famous words of Scripture took the gathering by surprise. When she finished there were audible sobs from some of those gathered, so unexpectedly moved were they by the re-telling of these ancient words.
When the party was over and Charles Laughton was leaving the host thanked him for coming, and then awkwardly commented on the difference in responses from Laughton’s reciting of Psalm 23 to that of his old aunt.
Charles Laughton’s response is said to have been: “Yes, well, I guess I simply know the Psalm – but she clearly knows the Shepherd.”
Being a follower of Jesus is not acting a part but living a real relationship with your Creator.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, and behold – the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
About the author: David Riley is a christian minister on the Australian Gold Coast. This article is from a series on his blog “Reverential Ramblings”.