Monday, February 8, 2016

Darkness vs. Light : A Superbowl Story

"You must spend a lot of time handling counterfeit money to know what it looks like," said Ruth Bell Graham to a man from Scotland Yard, who was in charge of identifying counterfeit money. "No," he replied. "We never touch the stuff. All day long, we just handle the real thing: genuine currency. And when a counterfeit bill comes our way—we can quickly detect it."

     Last night, I ventured out from my bedroom, in a sinus headache induced daze, and watched the Superbowl halftime show with my family. In my altered state, I did not have much of a reaction. But this morning when I woke up, that nasty headache had almost subsided and social media was abuzz. It seems as if many people are shocked and appalled because Beyonce did not show up in a choir robe and sing "Jesus Loves Me". Maybe that's a bit harsh, but hear me out.
     I'm not saying I agree with the undertones or motives of her performance, I'm not even sure I fully understand them. I had trouble even deciphering the words she was saying, and like I said, I wasn't feeling very well. But I guess I'm just not as shocked as others seem to be, because I did not watch the halftime show expecting a church service, and it has never occurred to me to look to Beyonce for spiritual guidance. I knew that what I was watching was a very highly anticipated performance at a secular sporting event, and I was not surprised by (or impressed with) her publicity stunt.
     It's easy to point out the bad things in the world that do not reflect my faith. I could sit here right now and name five current pop songs that go against what I believe. That would be very easy, and in fact, I think that's exactly the kind of thing critics expect Christians to do. Do you know what I think would really shock the world? What if, instead of lamenting about all of the darkness around us, we focused our energy on acting as the light? What would happen if I truly tried my hardest to actually be like Jesus, instead of wasting my energy pointing out everyone who isn't?
     There are things that I do feel the need to voice my disapproval about. Things like violence against children and other defenseless people, and anything I consider a direct and deliberate oppression of my faith. But a performance at a football game? I'd rather save up my rants for more important issues, so this is the last time you'll have to listen to me talk about this event.
     Speaking of musical performances, I've never been a fan of Lady Gaga, but I was surprised to hear my mom complementing her rendition of the national anthem, so I watched a video of her performance after the fact. and I will reluctantly admit I was very impressed. Even though she's not perfect and she's done plenty of things I don't agree with, she made me realize that sometimes you just have to put on your sparkly red power suit, hit those high notes, and be the light.

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