I have watched Grey’s Anatomy since the beginning. Day 1, Episode 1, I’ve seen them all. When I think back to the hours that have gone into me keeping up with Derek and Meredith is makes sense that I’m sobbing this morning. I just finished watching last night’s episode and-SPOILER ALERT-Derek died. Although I doubt my alert spoils much for anyone because it was all over Twitter and Facebook last night and Good Morning America ran a whole story on it this morning. Whole story.
Why do we do this? Why do we care? It’s a show on television. It’s a story written by a woman who writes stories about relationships. It’s actors who are paid so much that they sometimes become a little too high on themselves and cause themselves to get written out of shows. It’s pretend. We all know it’s pretend. So why then? Why do we care so much that we rant on Facebook and Twitter and cry on the banana we are eating while we watch? (I hear some people did that. Maybe people in my house. Okay, me.)
It’s escapism. Sometimes our lives become tragic and tangled and confusing and we want to see that someone else has it worse. We also want to see that it works out for someone. We want to see people struggle and fight and get hurt and overcome…because we want to overcome. I want to overcome.
I want to know that my life will work out. I want to know that if I work hard my dreams will come true. I want to know that making a smart choice, helping a stranger on the road, and putting my fellow man before me will result in all the good things. But the truth is it doesn’t always. The truth is sometimes Derek dies and things don’t work out. That’s why we sob. It’s a harsh reminder that endings aren’t always happy.
I probably escape into Grey’s for a lot of reasons. Reasons that are too numerous to mention here. And too silly. In fact, admitting that I sobbed – SOBBED – over my banana this morning is a bit embarrassing. But far too often I buy into the dream that this world is my home. I start believing that I am supposed to have all the good things – the happiness, the wealth, the health, the dreamy hair – and that life is supposed to show up in technicolor. So I escape to places where it looks like that happens.
Jesus never promised technicolor. He didn’t say I might have trouble, he said I will. But he also said I could take heart because this world – and all that’s in it – was overcome by his death and resurrection. There will be a happy ending. There will come a day when there are no more tears, no more pain, and no more high drama character kill offs. There will come a day when we will all see Jesus face to face and the things of this world won’t matter any more.
So this morning I’m turning off the television and tuning into the relationships around me. The real ones with real people. The ones with real problems and real joys. The ones where people really die but also really live. The ones I can pray for with people. And people who will pray with me. The ones with people who share coffee and lunches and thoughts about our favorite TV shows. Today I will invest in relationships that matter. That’s how I will overcome. That’s how my happy ending will come. I will share the love of my Savior with the people he’s given me today. And those people will share with me. It’s a give and take that I don’t get from the TV and it’s good.
Who will you tune into today?