Sunday, February 17, 2008

Where am I?

I'm normally not a sucker for reality TV.  I stick mainly to the news at 5:30, the Office, and the occasional, classic Simpsons episode.  Nevertheless, being a husband has changed my perspective on life and has opened my world up to new possibilities.  For example, I did not know that curtains made a room feel "warm."  Nor did I really know how a room could feel worm aside from turning the thermostat up to a higher temperature. When it comes TV, my wife does not watch very much, but she does enjoy Extreme Makeover Home Edition.  

Maybe its because I don't like weeping in front of other people, but I normally stand clear of EMHE because it sucks you in like an emotional shop vacuum!  They always have a family that is in serious distress and by the end of it you are blowing your nose and writing letters to ABC, thanking them for their inspirational programming.  ABC does not need my accolades!  Tonight, however, I was pulled in for the last 15 minutes of an episode that strategically caused me to cry and become nauseated; a volatile mix.  

A blind, wheelchair-ridden man and his family were in a bad way because the disabled man, Patrick I believe, needed a lot of attention.  Apparently the home they had lived in limited his family's ability to meet his needs and EMHE was able to provide.  They built an apartment for Patrick that sat next to their parent's brand new house.  I won't go into details about all the cool stuff Patrick received because that was NOT the best part of the show.  At the end of the episode, Patrick starts playing the piano and singing a song that repeats the phrase "I believe."  Not a dry eye was in the house as Patrick lifted his voice to declare the things of this present age did not concern him because he saw through it.  I was truly inspired and a little embarrassed when my wife handed me the tissue she had been using to dry her eyes so I could dry my own.

One-by-one, each cast member for EMHE came in front of the camera to describe how they had only met Patrick once but now they were forever changed.  One man who works as a regular on the show could not stop from crying as he mentioned Patrick's joy despite his circumstance.  If you listened closely to the words of the song he sang, it was more than obvious that Patrick was a follower of Christ; a citizen of God's Kingdom.  God was using Patrick and his family to display unconditional love and what it's like in the Kingdom of God when the meek are blessed and the blind see (Matt. 5 & John 9). 

I certainly have been rejoicing in Patrick's story, but I have also been lamenting my own inaction.  I'm going to make a guess and suggest the cast of EMHE is not entirely Christian.  Yet, here they are making an enormous impact on the lives of families week-in and week-out.  Where am I?  Why am I not being provoked to action?  I am reminded of a friend who once read that Jack Johnson (the recording artist) passed through a town while on a surf trip, saw there was a need, and set up a fund for the impoverished children he interacted with.  How many followers of Christ do you know do the same in their own hometown where poverty is 15 minutes down the street?  Please make no mistake, my finger is pointed directly at me in this moment because I am ashamed of my inaction.  I want to be a part of a movement of believers who act when they see a need and jump when they see an opportunity to advance God's Kingdom.  Have mercy on me, Oh God.