I didn't watch the Oscars. Instead, right about the time Viola Davis gave her acceptance speech, I was standing at the front of a room while 15 people made a decision to follow Jesus. Many were broken and crying, some of them I know personally, and all of them I now know their faces. Our attendance was a bit lighter, maybe because of rain, or perhaps because people chose to stay home and watch the Oscars.
This morning I got a chance to watch video of Viola's acceptance speech. The media are touting it oscar-worthy itself. But I am troubled at the praise it is getting. She stood before a room full of people. Many are broken and crying, none I know personally, but all of them I know their faces. They cried and cheered as she said these words:
"You know, there's one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered. One place. And that's the graveyard. People ask me all the time: 'What kind of stories do you want to tell Viola?' And I say exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories. The stories of the people who dreamed big, and never saw those dreams to fruition. People who fell in love and lost. I became an artist and thank God I did because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life." - Viola Davis
Now I love movies, but it troubles me that we can prop up people that actually believe that "art" is the only way to celebrate life. Especially acting, because it is literally pretending to live it. So, I'd like to borrow and edit her beautiful, yet misguided words to reflect how I feel every Sunday:
You know, there's one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered. One place. And that's the Church. People ask me all the time: 'What kind of stories do you want to tell?' And I say study God's word. Those stories are alive. The stories of the people without hope, and yet found it. People who fell in love and won. I became a follower of Jesus Christ, and thank God I did because we are the only people that celebrate what it means to have life to live.