Glee

Like movies, Stephanie and I had been really getting into TV shows. We suspect it’s because they are becoming more serial and thus more like long movies just cut into weekly segments. Anyway, one of those shows we watched together was Glee. I’ve been trying to catch up on the shows I missed throughout this month, and finally decided to start watching Glee. The episode I had to start with is called Grilled Cheesus and aired two days after Stephanie’s crippling seizure. I mention the air date because of the story and because it originally aired while I was in the midst of everything going on. Part of me wishes I saw it then. Part of me is glad I didn’t.

I won’t recommend the show because of some sexual content I don’t care for (including this episode), but it was a poignant episode for me for a couple reasons. One of the main characters found himself dealing with the fact that his dad had a lack of oxygen to the brain which caused a heart attack. The story was the same: doctors didn’t know if he would wake up, what kind of damage might have been done by the lack of oxygen, etc. What was vastly different was that this character (Kurt) very much doesn’t believe in God and they made that point throughout the episode.

I could easily go through the episode scene by scene, but this post would be forever long, so I’ll avoid that. I was struck initially by the first song of the episode – “Only the Good Die Young” by Billy Joel. Really, what more can I say about that? Secondly, Kurt just wants his dad to squeeze his hand if he can hear him. Stephanie, upon coming out of her seizures would often squeeze my hand to let me know she heard me and was okay and often with three squeezes to say “I love you.” How difficult it can be to have a lack of touch!

Much of this episode presented the idea that there’s no reason to believe in God. Kurt says, “I appreciate your thoughts, but I don’t want your prayers.” I have felt much the opposite. I need your prayers. And while I appreciate your thoughts, it’s the prayers that are really getting me through. Kurt also sends his friends away when they’re in the hospital praying for his dad, in order to have acupuncture done because “pins pierce the skin better than psalms.” I couldn’t disagree more, and also couldn’t want people praying more and being around Stephanie. Someone had said to me that with all the people praying, God wouldn’t be able to stop hearing her name any moment throughout the day. And I still very much trust God more than any doctor or acupuncture specialist or any other human.

Another character (Finn) spends the episode praying to a cheese sandwich with the impression of Jesus on it, and says that he felt like he had a direct line to God because his prayers were being answered. After that’s over, he’s not sure how to feel. What I wanted to scream is, “You do have a direct line to God!”

The last thing to mention is the last song: “One of Us” by Joan Osborne. She says “What if God was one of us? Just a stranger on a bus? Just a slob like one of us?” and “If God had a name, what would it be?” My youth pastor in high school said regarding this song, “God was one of us.” That song has been so much more meaningful since he said that to me. God’s name was and is Jesus. Jesus was one of us. He was human and just like all of us. And I am reminded of that in these days. Jesus was forced to deal with all the wrong and all the badness of this world and all the hard situations. He lost a friend. He was betrayed. He was tortured. And He understands it all, and He understands what I’m going through right now, as well as what everyone else in the world is going through.

While watching Glee, it was hard to be reminded of so much of my situation, but I was even more just overwhelmed with grief and sadness for Kurt, who was missing out on so much more that God has for us when we just trust and believe and look to Him. I always thought that Christians have hope in death because we know that person is in Heaven. While that’s true, my bigger source of hope is in the fact that I know God has a plan for me. And even though I thought that plan would include Stephanie, I now know it doesn’t. But the plan does include me, and I have hope in that fact and hope in God for that.

6 thoughts on “Glee”

  1. What a great message you give to people here, Brad. We don’t watch this show, only once when it first came out and I didn’t care for it.

    By the way, in God’s timing, you’ll see Stephanie tomorrow since with God 1,000 years is as a day. That thought helped me a lot when my dad died. My brother-in-law said that to me at the cemetery and it really made me feel better. Hope this is an encouraging thought to you as well.

  2. I too watched that episode of Glee and was saddened with how Kurt’s character handled dealing w/ God. Again though, I love how you so precisely articulate what God should mean to people. God has brought you to a point where you are so in touch with your feelings and emotions that it’s obvious to you. People like me that haven’t experienced pain like yours become a little deadened to those emotions, to that pain. Thank you for sharing with us your emotions and drawing us into what God is doing in and around you.

    I know from previous posts, you’re a music fan (The Afters). I love that song and just stumbled on another song yesterday that I thought I would share with you as I was quickly impacted by it. The song is ‘The Reason for This World’ by Matthew West. If you’ve never heard it, here are the lyrics…

    The Reason for This World
    ————————-
    There are no words in times like these
    When tears don’t hide the tragedies
    And all you want is a reason for the world

    No comfort in the greeting card
    Cause God is good
    But life’s still hard
    and your heart just wants a reason for the world

    Maybe the reason for the pain
    Is so we would pray for strength
    And maybe the reason for the strength
    Is so that we would not lose hope
    And maybe the reason for all hope
    Is so that we could face the world
    And the reason for the world
    Is to make us long for home

    For God so loved your broken heart
    He sent his son to where you are
    and he died
    To give a reason for the world

    So lift your sorrows to the one
    Whose plan for you has just begun
    And rests here in the hands that hold the world

    Maybe the reason for the pain
    Is so we would pray for strength
    And maybe the reason for the strength
    Is so that we would not lose hope
    And maybe the reason for all hope
    Is so that we could face the world
    And the reason for the world
    Is to make us long for home

    Well I know your past the point of broken
    Surrounded by your frea
    i KNOW you’re faint and tired and lonely
    from the road that you walked down here
    But just keep your eyes on heaven
    and know that you are not alone
    remember the reason for the world

    No ear has heard
    No eye has seen
    Not even in your wildest dreams
    A beauty that awaits beyond this world
    When you look into the eyes of grace
    and hear the voice of mercy say
    Child, welcome to the reason for the world

  3. Brad,
    I haven’t seen this episode of Glee and although I do like the musical ability of the actors the message is often not one that is of value. I would like to encourage you to write to the actors of the show….perhaps you more than anyone have an opening to share Jesus Christ with the whole cast….regardless of their success in this world it means nothing without Jesus….we continue to pray for you and your family…and would love to sit over coffee or whatever and share how God has helped us on our grief journey….In His very capable grip!!!

  4. “My bigger source of hope is in the fact that I know God has a plan for me. And even though I thought that plan would include Stephanie, I now know it doesn’t. But the plan does include me, and I have hope in that fact and hope in God for that.”

    Amen!! Brad, I just know that God is going to do something big in your life. I truly believe that all suffering has meaning in His Kingdom. I know that He has used this blog, but I really feel it’s just the beginning of something amazing He is going to do through you.

    P.S. Sarah and I knew that you and Stephanie liked Glee (and Chuck) and we think of her everytime we see those commercials.

  5. My husband and I were watching this episode this week as well after we had heard what was going on with Stephanie. We felt the exact same way as you did. At the end of the episode when they were singing “One of Us”, I said, “Wait, isn’t that Christ?”. That week there was also an episode on House in which the lady of concern had seizures. The Friday before all of these episodes I had a little boy have a seizure where I work and I had to deal with the situation because I was the only adult around. It was so strange to me how all of these things happened within less than 1 week. Sometimes I guess God is trying to speak to us, we just don’t understand it.

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