this summer, sitting in a cushioned chair at the paramount, i realized i was ashamed of a decision i had made.
we had been curious.
i admit i find occasional south park episodes amusing and harmless. i understood the show’s content would be potentially questionable yet i was still interested in seeing it for myself. i wanted to understand better how it portrayed my faith which is a huge part of me. i felt that seeing the thing would equip me to better discuss it with others.
i realize now how flawed that logic is. i didn’t need to experiment to be able to just say no just like i don’t need to touch fire to know i’ll be burned.
and so we sat in the orchestra, feeling like spies among the theater goers.
it began, and i laughed through most of the first act. it used a quirky inside humor about our religious culture. i was surprised those seated near us were laughing so hard. i thought the lds specific jokes would have been lost on them.
and then the second act happened.
it was crude and vulgar and shockingly offensive in a way that any morally inclined, god-fearing spectator would have been offended. i didn’t laugh the rest of the show. i hunched over in my seat, ashamed.
the one dim little light in that entire dark night was the number, i believe.
i was familiar with that song from youtube and found it to be beautifully powerful. however, i was physically shocked when the audience laughed at the repeated phrase, a mormon just believes. i felt personally wounded by their laughter. i hadn’t taken those lyrics as comical. i took them to mean we are faithful despite what life throws our way. when faced with the unknown we have faith. we trust in god. we believe.
we quickly exited the theater. walking up pine and then pike we talked about the evening. the show. our mistake. and our belief.
looking back on that ride home i recall our disappointment – but surprisingly what stands out to me the most is the undeniable spirit we felt. the spirit that admonishes, prompts, teaches and guides us. the spirit that testifies of Him.
tonight i helped a little boy, on the verge of walking, open his little people nativity. i watched him as he moved the animals, held the angel and tossed the wise men. i held my breath as he braced himself with one arm and reached the other out to grab ornaments off the tree.
and then i thought about faith.
how it is born fragile, needing to be held, and rocked, and fed.
eventually it wants to be independent, but it still needs to be supported.
until, miraculously, it takes several steps unassisted.
through trial and error, through trust, through action, that faith becomes belief.