I went to see the movie Blue Like Jazz last night. I couldn’t stop thinking about it when I went to bed. My thoughts were consumed with the movie and the body of Christ at large.
My friend told me that a group of people walked out of the movie part way through. I bet they didn’t read the book. I bet they didn’t read his blog, either. Maybe they heard that it was a Christian movie and wanted to go see that. There was some pretty offensive stuff in the movie, especially if you’re a conservative Christian. There is drinking, partying, scoffing at Christianity, a lesbian friend; it’s a glimpse of life in the world. After all, we are to be in this world, not of it, right? Does that also mean that we should be ignorant of it?
This movie is about a young man’s journey to the heart of Jesus, the beginning of the journey, that is. I wouldn’t call it a Christian movie. Unfortunately, when I hear that there’s a Christian movie coming out I don’t have high expectations for it. (But I’ll save those thoughts for a different blog post. It’s not a warm evangelistic movie that preaches to you, but have no doubt, Don Miller wants you to know Jesus, too.
I want you to see it. (go here for tickets: http://www.bluelikejazztickets.com) I want you to see Don’s heart. I wonder if it comes through if you haven’t read his book or blogs. I don’t know since I’ve been reading his blogs for so long.
Blue Like Jazz spurs lots of thoughts in me; maybe not even knew ones, but it gets them all rolling around again.
What does loving Jesus look like? Why is the church such a mess? I mean “church” as in the body of Christ as a whole. No, I mean in America. I see us judge and cut people off. They’re often the ones that need us the most. Isn’t it God’s kindness that brings us to repentance? Aren’t we the hands and body of Him? Are we so scared that our kids will catch sinfulness from the sinners around us that we live in our own little bubble? I used to have that fear, but guess what? We have all sinned. We all continue to sin and we have been redeemed.
There are plenty of bubbles even within the church walls. We like to be friends with people who are just like us. We call that like-minded. Well, of course we want to be with people who think just like us, but what happens when I begin to think a little differently? Or what happens when I am part of a community that values marriage and mine falls apart? What happens when I’m supposed to have these perfectly trained children because I read the book and I love Jesus, but my kids are a little more broken than yours?
I used to think that the good Christians didn’t use birth control. Ever. NO MATTER WHAT. I used to think that moms who took their calling seriously and loved their children would always homeschool. No. Matter. What. I used to think that I wouldn’t let my kids have friends with kids who don’t love Jesus. I’d never send my kids to Sunday school because that’s my job to teach them about Jesus.
I’m a single mom of four children now. Three of them are adopted. Adoption is great, but it also hurts. It begins with a breaking before the joining. This means I have some kids that deal with some really big feelings. I bet my kids are offensive to some. I bet I’m offensive to some around me. I can see it, actually. More than that, I can feel the judgments of the good Christians around me.
I don’t feel so judged by my friends outside the church, though. Is it because they have such a different standard than me? Perhaps, but I think part of it is that they’re not looking for sin. They accept me, even if they don’t understand me. My freshman year in highschool I hung out with the kids at smoker’s corner. They got drunk and smoked pot on the weekends. I didn’t do that. (Well actually, I did drink, but not socially.) I was friends with them because they didn’t judge me and I was having a hard time in my life. They teased me for being so good, but loved me anyway. (I hadn’t made the choice to be a Christian yet.)
These thoughts aren’t even about the movie anymore. I’m not sure where these thoughts are heading. Wait, maybe I do.
I want to see the body of Christ love one another. I wonder if we can make an influence in the Kingdom of God if we’re so busy judging one another. I want to be embraced and embrace the broken around me that I see every Sunday sitting in our nice little rows. I want to know their hearts and I want my heart to be known. I want to love them and be loved. I want them to not feel alone and I’m so very tired of feeling alone. I don’t want to be the nice little Christian family on the block that kept the broken people away from my doorstep.
I want to stand strong with my people; the people of God in my community. Isn’t that attractive to those who are broken and in need of a Savior? Isn’t that what attracted people to Jesus? His love and the way he spoke to their heart?
Don’t we all want to be loved and seen? Really seen?
The answer is yes.
(p.s. I have heard Don Miller’s name tossed around with the word ‘emergent’. Please know that I have no idea what that is. I’ve read a blog about the dangers of such a church, but I don’t get it.)
oh, one more thing…when you go see it, stay for all the credits. It lists all the people who helped support the film through kickstarter. I’m on there. Look for the Taylor Clan. (ahem, I’m very humble about my name being on the big screen….;)