Ghost Whisperer, Jack and John on Faith

I’m having trouble sleeping, so here’s one of my insomniac posts!  Here are some items:

1.  I watched the Ghost Whisperer for the first time last night.  Jennifer Love Hewitt plays Melinda, a lady who can see dead people and helps them to find closure before they go to the other side.  In the process, she helps people.  I enjoyed the episodes that I watched, but I’m not sure if I want to bind myself to the show, by recording every single episode that comes on.  With Ion (PAX), there are three episodes on each day, and that can really accumulate on my DVR!

2.  Rachel Held Evans had a post a few days ago, Dear John, Why do you find it so easy to believe?  In it, she discusses a conversation on an episode of LOST between two of the main characters: Jack Shepherd and John Locke.  Jack is a man of science, and John is a man of faith.  That plays out in that Jack wants to do everything possible to get the plane-crash survivors off the island, whereas John thinks they should stay.  For John Locke, the survivors are on the island for a reason.  Locke also believes that the island is a place “where miracles happen,” since, on it, he was healed of his paralysis.  In Jack and John’s conversation, John asks Jack why he finds it so difficult to believe, and Jack retorts, “Why do you find it do easy?”  Rachel and her commenters talk about whom they identify with: Jack or John.

If I identify with anyone, it’s Ben Linus, who asked Jacob “What about me?” and got “What about you?”  See my post, Ideas about Jacob and his Adversary (LOST), if you’re interested in the details!  But Rachel’s post got me thinking about why John is the way he is, and why Jack is the way he is.  John Locke had nothing before he came to the island.  His father had used then rejected him.  His girlfriend dumped him.  John looked for love in a commune, which turned out to be a front for the marijuana industry.  When he came to the island, he finally had a sense of purpose.  And the island healed him.  For once, he felt loved and important.

Jack’s a little more difficult for me to analyze.  Jack witnessed a miracle before he came to the island.  As a surgeon, he thought he knew that a lady would never walk again, but she ended up dancing at her wedding…with Jack!  You’d like for this to be a fairy-tale ending, but it’s not, for the relationship goes south, and she and Jack split up.  John Locke desperately craves love and wants there to be a happy ending, so his response to a miracle is faith.  But Jack is cynical, perhaps because his own encounter with the supernatural had an unhappy ending, and he wondered if there was any purpose at all.  And perhaps he carries this cynicism into a desire to stick with cold, hard facts, from a cold, often harsh world.  But he still tries to help people in this cold world.  For Jack, there’s no God looking out for people, so it’s up to him to come up with the answers as the leader—through his own wits.  Eventually, that’s a heavy burden for him to carry.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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