Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Theology according to “Saving Grace”

If you haven’t watched “Saving Grace” on TNT, it is an interesting spin on God and his relationship to us. This message is often conveyed through an angel named Earl. The premise of the series is that God sent an angel who offers a jaded Oklahoma City police detective (Grace Hanadarko) the chance to redeem her life following a drunk driving accident in which she kills someone. Her character is extremely flawed, which is why I guess I can relate to her so well. I don’t always agree with the theology expounded in the television program, but I often gleam some understanding through Hollywood’s feeble attempts. If nothing else, it often sparks major discussions within our household. The following scene takes place in a Jewish temple. Here is a short discussion between Earl and Grace concerning prayer.

Earl: All kind of prayers, popcorn prayers, Hebrew prayers, screamin’, cussin’, questionin’: all prayers
Grace: Prayers in here may be important, but ‘please let me score a touchdown, please help me find a parking place’ what about that crap
Earl: You don’t think God can handle the big and the small
Grace: Some dope prays for the light to turn green same time a family prays for their sick baby—light turns green baby dies—why doesn’t he save the baby?
Earl: I don’t know God makes the decisions not our desires.
Grace: Really, GOD makes the decisions?
Earl: Yes
Grace: So, ok God decides to kill 6 million jews, machete a million Africans?
Earl: God decided to give you all a choice the people who gassed 6 million Jews and Machete a million Africans made that call
Grace: But God is the decider he could have stopped them
Earl: He can do anything he wants. He could have created each one of you to worship him, but what would be the fun in that. He wants you to come to him on your own, to pray because you want to
Grace: But why would I pray to someone who stands by and does nothing when he could do everything?
Earl: Is that what you want? If God did everything then what would you do?
Grace: Dance…Laugh...same things I have always done.
Earl: Dancing has always been one of my favorite prayers.
Grace: I still don’t see the point of prayer
Earl: It prepares you to see God in any situation
Grace: I don’t feel it—not the kind of prayer you are talking about.
Earl: What do you think summoned me?

Prayer is an interesting aspect of our relationship with God. What is the point? I believe the answer actually comes from Earl “It prepares you to see God in any situation”. My prayer life was never as active as it was after Don died. Perhaps I was longing to see God in my situation perhaps I was in the cussin’, questionin’, screamin’ mode. What I learned is that we are not promised a life without struggle, difficulty, or suffering. What we ARE promised is that God will be there to see us through, so that what we go through isn’t in vain; so that we can not only see God in our situation, but we can find the strength to make it meaningful.


Sari said...

I like that, that it prepares you to see God in any situation.