Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Sex and the Gospel Pt. 10: Eucharist

So, 50 Shades of Grey is going to be a movie. I don’t want to go into details about the story or the impact it has had around the world since the book was originally published, but I do want to say that as a woman who grew up in the culture that both created and consumed this narrative, I simultaneously understand and yet grieve its celebration as a “love” story.

I understand because I know how natural it is that a generation of abused little boys and girls have become abusers. I understand because I know what it is to want love and intimacy and think the only way to get it is to degrade yourself or become an object. I understand because I know that it is easier to wield your own shame as an instrument of power than to feel and mourn the shame that you inherited when those who had power over you wrongly used it.

And yet, I also grieve. I grieve because I have come to know a Love that has covered my shame and lifted my head. Because I’ve met the One who emptied Himself of power that I might be rescued from the distorted and misguided use of it. I grieve because in His eyes, week after week at the Communion rail, I’ve come to understand that I am not an object, but a person—a person He loves and cherishes as His own body. 

I grieve because I contemplate His passion and realize, He gave His very body over to death so that I might live—that the only violence in relationship with Him is that which He took onto Himself that I might be restored to my full dignity as a human being. I grieve because this narrative of self-giving and loving union has so transformed me that the old one-- the one that used to define me-- is now exposed for what it is. Death.

And so, I guess I also hope. I hope because He is not just an idea, not just a character in a book. He is a person whose Love reinterprets the most intimate narratives of our lives.

His name is Jesus.

1 comment:

Megan said...

I appreciate your thoughts Hannah. I really don't know much about the book and have only recently looked at comments on some online post about it. They ran the gamut, from those who thought it was "sick" to those who seemed to think the female character helped to redeem the man in the story. I haven't read the book (probably won't) so I don't have a well-informed opinion on the story and am not likely to find one. Megan