Thursday, October 7, 2010

What if God Were One Of Us.


So my husband and I watch quite a lot of television.  Most people really frown on this sort of thing but we watch it together, discuss it, laugh over it and it fuels many of our inside jokes and asides.  It really is one of our hobbies and something we enjoy doing together.  I could go on and on about different series that we've loved and maybe some day I will.  There is also a book that we both love called Windows of The Soul by Ken Gire.  What is really fabulous about this book is that it talks about finding God every where, not just in church or on Sunday mornings.  He talks about nature and animals and he even talks about movies and television.

All this to say that I can't stop thinking about this week's episode of Glee.  I can not recommend this show for every one, it is silly and about teen agers and is a musical so clearly it's a bit different, but Brian and I happen to really like it.  It's different, and deals with all sorts of issues and sometimes we agree with their take on it and some times we don't.  This week's episode (Grilled Cheesus) was all about spirituality and people's beliefs.  They did a good job walking the line of trying not to offend any body while staying true to the sensitive nature of the topic.  While I did not agree with every thing they said ("church is full of people who hate gays and women" maybe  it was suppose to be funny?) I did like that they didn't show the people with faith as stupid and ignorant; in fact the characters who were the most adamantly opposed to God came off as being a bit bigoted in their own way.  I liked that they didn't give us any definitive answers, at the end of the episode one of the young men was still struggling with believing, because in real life these issues aren't solved and put into a nice neat package at the end of fifty minutes.

Two things that really struck me (and please understand these are not exact quotes but as close as I can remember them) was a conversation between Kurt and Mercedes.  Kurt is hurting over the illness of his dad and very outspoken against any forms of faith, Mercedes says to him, "I know you don't believe but I feel like if you close yourself off to anything spiritual your going to miss out on a whole other world.  Life's too hard to go through it alone." Can I get an Amen?! How many of us, even Christians, are not experiencing every thing there is, every thing God wants for us?  The second thing was Sue Sylvester (the evil cheer leading coach) was talking about how she had lost her faith because when she was young she had prayed that her special needs sister would be healed. She said "I realized that it wasn't that I wasn't praying hard enough, it was that no one was listening" this really struck of cord with me and I'm sure we've all been there but the amazing thing was that her sister basically tells her that God doesn't make mistakes and that she wasn't healed because she was perfect the way God made her.  Tears even as I write this! How many parents have had to learn this truth the hard way?  How many Christians have refused to believe this in order to stay comfortable with the way they think things should be?????

The best quote, I thought, of the entire episode was when the guidance counselor says to Finn, "The big questions are big for a reason.  Every one struggles with them." They ended the episode with Alanis Morissett's song What If God Were One of Us. And it's this music that's been playing in my head all week (When this song was popular my mom really hated it, but the more I listen to the lyrics the more I feel like it's not anti-God it's just a song expressing one of those "big questions" and isn't that what art is for?) also I took out the chorus b/c that's not what I wanted to talk about:

If God had a name what would it be?
And would you call it to his face?
If you were faced with him in all his glory
what would you ask if you had just one question?

If God had a face
What would it look like?
And would you want to see
If seeing meant that you would have to believe
In things like heaven and Jesus and the saints
and all the Prophets

What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home
Just trying to make his way home
Back up to Heaven all alone
Nobody callin' on the phone
cept for the Pope maybe in Rome

What a simple way to ask such tough questions.  And the thing is I could give you scriptures to answer so many of these.  God does have a name, it's father (psalm 69:30), You can talk to God and you don't need a phone (John 9:31), God IS one of us, he is here all around us (John 14:16). But that's not really the solution is it?  The real problem is:
      If God had a face
     What would it look like?
     And would you want to see
     If seeing meant that you would have to believe
     In things like heaven and Jesus and the saints
     and all the Prophets
The real problem is deciding if you want to believe.  Believing in God means changing your life, it means giving things over to him.  So many people are looking for an excuse NOT to believe because they're scared, or selfish or they like their life the way it is.  Faith is scary and when it really comes down to it you either decide to believe or you don't, no amount of evidence either way is going to change that. Living for God does open up an entire new world but some times it means closing doors on things in this one and that can be too hard for some people to handle.  I just wish that more people could know what God truly wants for them all that he has to offer.

So you all suffered through my ramblings on a musical television show.  Where are some unusual places you've seen God, or spirituality?


Aleks said...

I also thought that "One of Us" was a song by Alanis Morissett's song. It turns out it is a song by Joan Osborne, an American blues singer.

I watched the episode last night. I'm still processing the information and analyzing the impact the episode made on me.

As for looking for God in unexpected places, I see many people around me are looking for something. Or maybe Something. I cannot give it to them. They have to find it for themselves. Be it a non-believing colleague who is struggling with the purpose for life; be it an anti-Christian poet whose ideas are frightfully deep and insightful - they all are on their search for God.

In some ways, they are much like me. This search for God is beyond intellectual knowledge of faith or things to believe in. It is beyond theological discussions and debates. It transcends the ritual or the habit of worship and belief. It comes from an honest, genuine search for God in dire circumstances. One's true faith is shown when it has been test by life - or as Paul said, by fire. In those miserable moments, at a time when all you see is darkness around you, when you cannot find enough strength to carry on.... in those moments, you see God. And that is always unexpected. And always rewarding.

Jessie said...

Thank you Aleks for your wonderful insight! Yes after I posted this Brian "informed" me I was wrong about Alanis and you're right it was originally sang by Joan though Alanis did do a version of it (probably the one I'm more familiar with though I'm not great with that kind of info). Your so right Aleks faith is a journey we are never there are we (at least not in this life)?