Olivia Pope and the Call for Transparency

How many words can be used to describe Olivia Pope?

A lot.

She is beautiful, intelligent, charismatic, strong, formidable, compassionate, a ruthless crusader for the weak.

The list goes on and on and includes the word... flawed. Tragically flawed.

Yea, I cringe at that too. A black woman as a major character on a prime-time television show and she has to have an imperfection?!

Pope gets weak knees around the president. She can't seem to keep her wits about her to realize that allowing the president to kiss her, to whisper sweet nothings into her ear stands against everything that was ingrained within her. She becomes a mistress when she could be a wife. She fantasizes about living in Vermont making jam with Fitz and their four kids when she is fully capable of ruling the world.

And I am not against that. I want to become a wife and a mother one day; those are two of  my goals in life. But I refuse to attain them while breaking up a marriage and compromising my morals. I will do it right at the right time... but I didn't mean to go off in a tangent.

What I really want to talk about is the vulnerability that Shonda Rhimes created within Olivia Pope.

Be honest, if there was no fault in Olivia Pope, if she could do no wrong would Scandal be as popular as it is right now? Would countless people tune in each week to watch the show if Pope was perfectly flawless?

Yea, you can get mad at some of the decisions she makes but you keep coming back for more because she is real. She has struggles. She has issues. She has to constantly juggle her priorities with other people's and she always comes up short. You love that because you see yourself in Olivia Pope.

She is human and the church really should take note of that.

The church, the Bride of Christ is full of humans, full of broken people yet we are the most uncompromising bunch in the whole world.

We walk around with the holier-than-thou attitude forgetting that our stuff was pretty messed up before God stepped in.

We act as if it is all peaches once saved and we show contempt for those who fall in their walks when we know full well that we still have stumbles of our own even now.

Where is our humanity? And more importantly, why are we trying to hide it?

Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners."

We, the church are full of sinners who have responded to God's grace and asked Him to renew our minds continuously. We are not perfect and we should stop pretending to be so if we are to follow Jesus' Great Commission.

How can we make disciples if they can't even relate to us?

I completely understand where the problem lies: being vulnerable and transparent isn't easy and it sure enough isn't pretty. We want to hide the ugly past and the detestable things that we have done while only highlighting the good that has happened.

But God isn't just the God of the great. He didn't choose you when you were perfect, when you got your act together. He chose you in your mess and loved you so much that He came to you, down into your pit of misery to bring you back up with a new song in your mouth (Psalm 40:2).

People need to hear that. They need to hear your whole testimony: where you started from, where you ended up and what still is troubling you.

Your crazy story does not subtract from God's glory. As a matter of fact, it just magnifies how awesome and merciful and full of grace He is when people hear about your life. It gives them hope and that is what you attest to when you are vulnerable and truthful.

If the church was more honest about its shortcomings and hangups, if we just admitted that we are human too, there would be a lot more people trying out this walk with God.

Don't lose your humanity. Don't hide your scars.

Let yourself be real so that others can get intrigued and learn about the goodness of our Lord.

1 comment

  1. You slayed this post. I can't believe you brought Scandal to the Church! But the analogy is spot on. We're all flawed beings that are seeking approval. We need to make sure that the approval we're going after is worth our time. Great post, my dear.