Last night ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" took a shot at exploring faith - why we need it, what it is, and what it does for us. While the primary story line was Chief Resident Amanda Bailey, her son, and her husband, each of the characters revealed something about their journey with faith.
Izzie Stevens wants faith in her skill - the same faith that she thinks Cristina Yang possesses. Alex Karev's lack of faith is challenged by a faith healer who recognizes how the pain of his childhood has robbed him of belief in goodness. Derek Shepherd loses faith in Meredith Grey but gains faith in himself which frees him to look for new possibilities in life. George O'Malley is confronted with the faith of his religious tradition and how his actions have fallen short of its expectations. Cristina Yang moves beyond her blind belief in skill and extends emotional and spiritual care to Bailey's injured child. Callie Torres speaks to her belief in love even though she has lost faith in many of her traditional religious beliefs. Other characters also muddled in the faith story this week as well.
Faith as belief that we belong to a larger story is a fundamental part of Christianity. It is also what seems to characterize most religions. We belong to a story that neither begins nor ends with us - a story that pulls us through the singularity of any moment into a future as yet unwritten. As Christians our story tells us that life is stronger than death and that love is stronger than despair and hate. I am surprised that a soap opera like "Grey's Anatomy" didn't' reduce faith to a list of dogmatic professions or supernatural events.
Last night's episode was called "Lay Your Hands on Me." You can watch it streaming online or via iTunes.
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