So am I the only one who has been incessantly watching America’s Got Talent? I don’t know if it’s the lack of things on television right now or I’m just waiting to start watching Big Brother (love that show!), but we have been watching America’s Got Talent over and over and over. They’re now down to the final 48 if you don’t know. If that seems like a lot of people/acts left to you – wow you don’t know how long it took to get there or with what angst.
These episodes stress me out. I know that makes me a sad person that I get so emotionall invested in tv shows but it’s not like these people are all professional people that are used to being rejected. Some of these people you envision are just like you and me – joe blow. Maybe melodramatic but it’s heart breaking when some of them get the boot. I really wanted the guy with the kite to make it even though I know you couldn’t watch that for over an hour in a Vegas act (and that’s the prize) but still…. I don’t like to see the crushing rejection. That’s not entertainment. But you can’t have the good without the bad. For every sad defeat, you’ve got someone who gets blown away by the opportunity to perform in Hollywood in front of a live audience one step closer to their dream. Those moments are amazing! The excitement, joy, hugs….wow….the blonde girl that sings Jewel and grew up in foster care, the kid from Alabama whose Dad said him making it was the most proud moment of his life, I can’t believe they let the hand whistle lady go through but dude – she was jumping up and down with a walker – that is excitement.
Last night as they were making some folks dreams happen and they were sadly crushing others they played Coldplay’s “Fix You.” I like this song. I’ve like it for a long time. There’s something about the melody and the build up in the middle that really speak to the journey for me…that really speak to the every person. One of the lectionary scriptures this week is from Luke (10:25-37) and it’s talking about the Good Samaritan and who our neighbor is…among other things. When I think about America’s Got Talent and how some of these crazy yokels could literally be our next door neighbor – I think about that story. When I think about MLK’s wise words that we encounter half the world every morning in the clothes that we wear and the food that we eat and all of the many ways that our wide but intricately connected world makes quick neighbors of even the most far-reaching among us. I think about this Coldplay song and the lights the lead each of us home. Not I’m not listening to the song for complete theological accuracy and no I’m not debating the “I will try to fix you,” because I think God does a heck of a lot more than just fix us. But I do like that even as melancholy as the song starts out, the building instrumental bridge in the middle and the crescendo that happens there to me speaks very much to the ebb and flow of life and that we are all in this together. That lights/our neighbors/the love of God/all sorts of crazy things do lead us home.
So who are those neighbors? Who are the lights in our life? What does that mean as we follow God? What is Jesus trying to say here? I am thankful for those that journey with us. Those that we know and those that we don’t. Those that we see every day and those that we see once in a lifetime. Those that we think are just like us and those that challenge and stretch our points of view in mighty and prophetic ways.
I guess we’ll see how our neighbors in this crazy tv show will do in the coming weeks…