I’m up now! There’s no point going back to sleep when my alarm will go off in 45 minutes. Maybe I’ll do some cat-napping later today.
I’ve been watching some episodes of Christy on the Gospel Music Channel. Christy was on in 1994, and it was based on a novel by Catherine Marshall, the wife of the renowned chaplain Peter Marshall. It’s about a young woman from the city who teaches school in the Appalachians, as part of a Christian mission.
I didn’t really care for the show in 1994. For one, I didn’t like Kellie Martin from Life Goes On, since her character on that show came across (in my opinion) as a stuck-up know-it-all. And, for some reason, Tyne Daly got on my nerves as well. The preacher on the show, David, was too morose and stuck-up for my taste. And I didn’t care much for the agnostic doctor, either, for I was trying to find inspiration in Christianity at the time, and him continually questioning the Christians disturbed my spiritual flow. Most importantly, I didn’t give a rip whom Christy chose as her love-interest: David or the doctor. I was intrigued that David knew the doctrine of soul-sleep, though!
For the past few years, however, I’ve wanted to revisit Christy. The main thing that’s been stopping me is that the videos in the library are in this plastic binding, and I’m too shy to ask somebody how to get that off! But the show’s on the Gospel Music Channel now, and I watch it there at my convenience (which I can do, on account of my DVR).
Why have I wanted to revisit it? First of all, I’ve seen Kellie Martin and Tyne Daly in roles that I actually like. Kellie Martin was on Mystery Woman, and she was more mature and sophisticated on that than she was in her younger years, one reason being that she no longer has that high-pitched, little-kid voice. And I enjoyed Tyne Daly on Judging Amy, on which she played a righteous yet vulnerable social worker, as well as the compassionate yet brutally honest mother of Judge Amy.
But another reason I want to revisit Christy is that I appreciate many of its themes, due to my life experiences after 1994. When Christy went out to the Appalachians, she was hoping to change the area for God, but she found things more difficult than she anticipated. She had to adjust her faith life to reality, and that’s something I had to do when I worked with juvenile delinquents, or did other service projects, or lived my life. I wanted God to use me in a grand adventure, but, like Christy, I had to be willing to accept some harsh realities.
The show also explores other issues. I still don’t like David, but I could identify with him when he felt useless as a pastor. His knowledge of theological concepts such as soul sleep wasn’t really ministering to people’s needs, and he had to deal with a local Appalachian bully. The doctor’s willingness to see where the local Appalachian people are coming from appealed to me, as did his questioning of religious cliches, which I too am questioning. The show also gets into such topics as relating to difficult co-workers on the mission field, the mutual benefits of serving others, respecting people’s pride, and the importance of not putting people on pedestals.
My changing reaction to Christy is an example of how me in 2010 is not entirely the same person as me in 1994. I can identify with things now that I really didn’t understand back then. Hopefully, that’s a step in the right direction, although there’s still much room for growth.