[Yesterday I posted Part 1 of my review of Blue Like Jazz the movie. This post is not so much a review of the movie, but instead a post inspired by themes from the movie.]
When I first heard about The Hunger Games, I didn’t want to read it. My coworker described the plot to me and I told her that I thought I would pass. I’m more of a chick-lit kind of girl. There was nothing about a story of teenagers fighting to the death that sounded appealing.
Over the course of the next few weeks, I felt like the book was stalking me. It seemed every time I checked Facebook, someone was posting about how much they loved the book. I listened as my sister-in-law gushed about how amazing the book was. I overheard coworkers talking about their mutual love for the book. As the release of the movie drew nearer, it was hard to avoid the chatter about Hunger Games. Every person I heard talking about the book loved it.
Eventually I felt as if I was missing out by not reading the Hunger Games. I wanted to know what was so special about a book about teenagers killing each other. I witnessed so many people in love with the book that I wanted to experience that love too.
What if Christianity was like that? What if all people could talk about when they talked about Christianity was the love they had for it? What if Christians were known as a people who loved instead of a people who judged?
What would it look like if Christianity became something that so many people were in love with that those who weren’t Christians couldn’t help but be curious about it?
When did Christianity become something to be ashamed of? How did we let the actions of a few extremists set the tone for an entire faith?
I wish that people knew that Christianity is not about the rules. It’s not about telling others why they are going to hell. I wish that people knew that Christianity is about a relationship with a loving God who wants to journey with us as we navigate through a life of good days and bad days. I wish that as Christians we remembered that we are not better than anybody else and God never tells us to judge others. I wish we focused more on our duty to love and care for others rather than our tendency to alienate them.
I’m excited about the conversations that will take place as a result of people watching Blue Like Jazz. I’m hoping non-Christians will be curious to learn more about the faith. I’m hoping that Christians will be brave enough to examine their portrayal of God to others.
I don’t have God all figured out. I’m confident I can spend my whole life searching and I’ll never know all the answers. God is bigger and more complex than my human brain can ever grasp. But I know that my life is immeasurably better when I allow God to be a part of it.