Thursday, July 9, 2015
Two years ago I decided to give into my curiosity of the new, hot show "Orange Is the New Black" ( You can check out Wikipedia.com or IMDB for a complete and detailed description of the show). The basic premise of the Netflix phenomenon is the story of a middle class woman in her late 20's who is sentenced to prison after being involved in a drug scandal ten years earlier. The acting is fantastic, and the story line of each of the female in-mates draws in pretty much any female who is interested in interpersonal relationships, prison life and humor.
I watched the first season and got hooked. Although there was language and lesbian scenes that made me uncomfortable, I felt that there was something I needed to learn in this show.
I am a strong and devoted woman of God, but I will tell you that my media choices are not always conservative, due to the fact that I believe that God intends to teach us through things that are dark. It is scary for me to think about the amount of Christians who do not have any friends that are not Christian, and who spend the entirety of their lives watching the 700 Club, reading and watching entertainment and media that they feel Jesus would approve of.
While there may be some that are shocked by this statement, I would hope that those people would hear me out. It is through the darkness of this world that we are to be the Light. How can we be a light if we don't know what we are up against...or for that matter, what those who do not have a relationship with Christ are up against? I strongly believe that the Holy Spirit will lead us through those dark places, and there are times where they should not be avoided.
Okay, now I'm getting to the point. :)
Back in the day when I was a teenager, I had this weird fascination with prison shows. I remember an ex -boyfriend being disgusted with this fact, and can clearly remember the disapproving look on his face when I shared my little secret with him. "why?!" he asked.
I really didn't have much of an answer. The only thing that I could put my finger on was that it was a life that I couldn't comprehend; a world that I didn't understand. I was curious, and I just left it at that.
I binged watched "Orange Is The New Black" seasons 1 and 2 ( I believe that you can find my reflections during this time written on this post: http://thoughtswithroomforcream.blogspot.com/2013/09/salt-light-prison.html) and last month when season 3 came out, I was ready to see what would happen next.
I made it through a few episodes, and my husband watched one or two with me as well. At one point, Jeremy made a comment to the effect that the show was pushing the "nature vs. nurture" debate; the belief that those who are in prison are there by no fault of their own. It was how they were raised, the people who hurt them, the lies they believed. It raised the question of "do people really have a choice when this is all they've ever known?"
Without Christ, the answer is a resounding "YES!"
Jeremy also commented on the fact that the show portrayed the inmates as victims, not women who committed crimes, hurting people and themselves. Which led me to this thought.....
We are victims without Christ.
Without the astounding and unimaginable sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the sins of His children, we would all be victims, but it is because of this sacrifice that we are able to help those who see themselves as victims.
Now let me be clear, you can be a Christian and see yourself as a victim; It is because of our sin and human nature that Christ made the sacrifice in the first place, but it is because of our freedom in Christ that we do not have to live our lives as victims! However, without Christ, this is a truth that is not so easily grasped.
I did not make it through all of season 3. There was a scene with the character "Boo" that traumatized me big time; I definitely felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit telling me "Okay, I've taught you everything you need to know from this experience." Truth be told, it took me a whole week to get that scene out of my head. I guess you could say that it haunted me.
But what still haunts me is the blatant fact that there are so many female prisoners that don't know Christ....that don't know my Jesus....the one who loves them no matter what. The Jesus who is extending His hand for a life that is not about their guilt, their pain, their suffering, but a life that is about what Jesus has done for them.
Truth? You don't have to be behind actual bars due to a crime that you have committed against the laws of our country. You can be a pastor's wife, a nurse, a stay at home mom, a rape victim, an alcoholic, a drug addict or a woman who is entertaining an affair.
Prison comes in many forms. Right now my ardent prayer is that you will understand and experience the freedom that comes from Christ; the truth that He can and will set you free!
So my fellow inmates of life, may you have the courage to release your victimization to the one who died for your freedom....the One who loves you more than you can even fathom.....a truth that will always trump the "nature vs. nurture" theory.