So I’m in the middle of reading “The Fault in Our Stars,” when the notion occurs to me that I am reading a teenage melodrama about things I know will inevitably happen yet have decided to voluntarily torture myself with two characters who are dying, because I think to myself, aren’t we all?
And so my husband so poetically points out that I have already seen the movie (have already broken Melissa rule #1, don’t see the movie until you’ve finished reading the book) and why bother and I think to myself he’s right, except that a.) I feel guilty that I have indulged in the non-intellectual version of the book and b.) realize that this is not an intellectually stimulating book but I refuse to break my rule because, well, that’s who I am. I also realize that it is the first secular book I have read since becoming a Christian two years ago, (the last Pre-Christ book being the The 50 shades of Grey trilogy, ya, ya I know) which contributed horribly to my worldly notion that I should be stuck in some half-twisted relationship with lots of worldly indulgences, and it’s all about me, and woe is me and blah blah blah. I have no opinion on what you should and shouldn’t read but suffice it to say that if your marriage is not in a good place it probably won’t help matters.
So I almost become giddy that I am reading a secular book, a teenage angst nonetheless, as a much-needed break from all the seriousness of life. It came to me that after listening to Jennifer Fulwiler on EWTN talk about how we all go around and pretend our lives are perfect and then proceeds by playing a clip of her 4-year-old who had found her way to YouTube and to a Russian death heavy metal band playing while images of the movie Frozen were dancing in the background, that I had been somewhat comatose for sometime after experiencing some of the reclusivity that one may experience after becoming a Christian, let alone a Catholic. But I have to say that since I have become a Catholic, I have never laughed so hard, or enjoyed my life as much as I do now. There is a lot more laughter, acceptance and the like within the walls of that church, more than you will ever know.
So in the midst of finally getting right down to it and curling up with this “sinful secular” book that I had already watched the movie about, knowing that cancer sucks and dying sucks and that I felt bad and cried for characters that didn’t even exist, there it went across the pages, several references to Jesus and I had to smile. He is everywhere.
And I remembered that it felt good to laugh, not to take myself so seriously, not to get lost in the minutia of people who wear Jesus T-shirts and sing in rock bands and sit inside of the heart of Jesus and sing kumbaya and what not (reference in the book). There is a lot of crap out there. There just is. There are so many more important things I should be doing than wondering what everyone thinks of me.
I like to think that some of my thoughts are some of yours too that you just won’t say out loud. Maybe more people would love Jesus if the people who loved him were loving in the first place. I haven’t met many fun Jesus people. That’s why I love my husband- because he IS fun Jesus people.
And through the dialogue of the characters I realized that I could be myself even after wearing a veil and being down on my knees at adoration; for heaven’s sake I thought, I make my living by arguing and inserting fake Christian curse words like “jackhole” just to make it through the day. I’m not perfect, but I’m not trying to be perfect. I’m just trying to love Him and live my life at the same time.
So I decided that it was perfectly ok to say “jackhole” and “crap” and be mad sometimes as Jesus was mad sometimes. Not mad in a worldly way but in a holy way. Mad that the world doesn’t care and is completely apathetic to EVERYTHING and mad that Christians are the worst representation of Jesus I have ever seen. Pathetic.
And then of course I felt bad that these fake teenage characters had cancer and I was perfectly healthy and I guess my cancer was my abuse and oh it’s all so tragic except it’s not because by page 30 I was laughing… at myself.
It’s good to laugh, better to have a spouse that laughs with you, and even better to have a spouse that makes fun of you for just being too damn serious all the time. Maybe next I’ll go watch some Russian Death metal frozen excerpt or sit in the literal heart of Jesus, or just laugh at myself.
If you want to have a look at the original post its http://workforthecausenottheapplause.com/2015/07/16/russian-death-metal-and-other-reasons-to-laugh-at-ourselves/