I was completely inspired by Glee last night. It tackled the thorny subject of religion in such a lighthearted yet serious manner, exploring various points of view on faith. Years ago I would have been horrified by someone praying to "Grilled Cheesus" and snapped the TV off in a fury.
I've come so far down my own road of faith that none of that stuff bothers me anymore, and I can barely remember why it ever did. Instead, I love that the discussion is even happening in the first place on a popular TV show aimed at people much younger than I am.
An honest, open discussion about any subject is much more interesting to me now than something cut and dried. Life is not that neat and simple. It's messy, and filled with shades of grey, and all that really matters anyway is that we love other people without restraint or judgement. I wish it hadn't taken me so long in my life to truly understand this one simple truth.
The episode last night focused on Kurt, the gay glee club member and one of my favourite characters on TV, as he struggled through a health crisis with his father. I shed a lot of tears watching Glee last year, particularly as they explored how Kurt's conservative blue-collar dad came to terms with his son's sexual orientation. It was so honest and real and true, and I was inspired by his character's journey because I had already walked that road. I spent time laying each of my fears to rest about accepting those who are different from me, and recognizing that it's no big deal to God or to me how other people live their lives. I am only responsible for myself, and I want to love instead of hate and judge.
It's hard to work these things out of our system. From the time I was little, I was taught things that I have had to unlearn in order to become personally closer to Jesus. I had to search for a new value system, one that makes more sense to me than the rigid set of rules I grew up with.
I want to accept and not condemn; to love and not serve as judge and jury. I didn't want to pay lip service to it - I wanted to change from the inside and walk a new road, relating to people in a completely different way than how I was originally taught to. And I was moved and amazed last night to discover how far I have come from what I used to be like, and how deeply the change has taken root in my heart.
I'm so grateful, because I could never go back, and hopefully my kids will not have to untie these kinds of knots in their soul. They will start so much further ahead on the road to love and acceptance, and even though they will have other struggles of their own in their faith and world view, I'm so glad that in accepting others without judgement, I have worked on my own prejudices so that they could begin life in a better place.