I admit I have been a little bit obsessed with Fifty Shades of Grey lately.
Despite my better judgment I have found myself getting a little swept up in the hype and frenzy of it all, reading articles and sharing links on FaceBook. Nevertheless I can truly say that I never anticipated writing a blog post about it. I suppose it is not even a very timely post considering that the movie has now been out for two (or is it three?) weeks and all the whose-who in the media and blogging worlds have raked it over with a fine tooth comb til there’s not much point in watching it anyway (should you have even been inclined to do so in the first place). On to the next culturally and religiously disturbing social temptation; as Hugh Grant so rightly remarked in Notting Hill (yes, I have watched that film): “today’s newspapers will be lining tomorrow’s wastepaper bins”. So why bother adding to the opinion pile you might ask?
I submit that the arguments for and against the film do not lend themselves to any shades of grey, let alone fifty shades; rather they are black and white. You should or you shouldn’t; you can or you can’t; you agree or you don’t. There really is no in between, no sitting on the fence. I suppose you could watch just half of the movie and then leave but I don’t think that is the point.
Personally I believe I should not watch Mr. Grey no matter what shade he is. That seems pretty black and white to me. I also believe that no one who is a child of the living King has any valid reason for watching it either. Again, to me that seems pretty black and white. It has boggled my mind that anyone truly seeking to live for the Lord would even consider watching something like this. I shake my head and wonder why there would even need to be a debate amongst believers; after all, isn’t the answer, well, black and white? And then I realize it isn’t about black and white:
it’s about Fifty Shades of Change.
When I think back to that time in my life when I wasn’t serving the Lord I remember living out my own version of fifty shades of grey. I wasn’t involved in the BDSM world or prostitution or stripping but suffice it to say that I was living my own version of filthy shades of grey.
When I returned to Him I was weeping under His grace. I was broken and fragile, struggling under the condemnation of the enemy, afraid that others would be shocked and not accept me because of my past. Thankfully the Lord shielded me; I never felt judged or criticized and it gave me time to be changed by Him instead of conforming out of legalism or fear. I began to see the huge amount of garbage and filth that I had heaped into my life and realized that God had to remove it. It was a big pile; more like a mountain actually.
Remember when Jesus said that if we had faith like a mustard seed we could say to a mountain “be thou removed and cast into the sea” (Mark 11:23) and it would be done for us? The Lord did not lie (of course!) but what I failed to see is that the mountain does not always move all at once. It is often cast into the sea in pieces; rock by rock, stone by stone, pebble by pebble. It can take a lot of time for that mountain to be removed. For so long I had been the world’s and the world loved me and I loved the world. I did not know what it felt like or looked like to be the Lord’s. If He changed me all at once – if He threw my entire mountain of trash away all at once – the shock would be too great for me, I would not know myself. The work of picking up each piece of trash, each piece of the mountain, is so that I would grow in my trust, my faith and my love for the Lord. This rebuilding of my life and relationship with the Lord was integral to my healing and restoration. Today I thank God that He is taking the time to patiently change me. How special and loved I feel. He comes to me about each sinful practice and habit, not with condemnation but conviction and the power to change. His love and mercy are the overwhelming balm to my sin-sick soul. And I realize I am still living through my own fifty shades of grey; my filthy rags are being washed in the Saviour’s blood and now I know:
red makes grey whiter than snow.