Sometimes, watching Grey’s Anatomy is like going to church.
It strikes me that an episode (season 11, episode 11–from last night, February 12th, 2015) about light, darkness, hope, and despair probably isn’t coincidentally aired the last week of the Epiphany season. And if it isn’t purposeful, the Holy Spirit’s blowing awfully strong through Shondaland these days. (*no spoilers below*)
In the church calendar, the ancient rhythm of Christian life developed over centuries, the season of Epiphany begins 13 days after Christmas, on January 6th, when the revelation to the (non-Jewish) wise men of Jesus as Lord and Savior is celebrated. Jesus is God incarnate, “The Light shining in the darkness,” as the first chapter of the Gospel of John puts it, and the season of Epiphany, which stretches from January 6th till the beginning of Lent (these days), is a particular time during the church year that calls people to consider the hope and promise of returning light.
Throughout last night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy, the cynical, scientific doctors (for the most part, famously agnostic, if not atheist) of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital lit candles in the hospital’s chapel one by one, not sure what else to do in the face of the domestic tragedy of the impending birth their friend’s baby who suffers a fatal birth defect.
A group suspect of miracles and well-acquainted with grief, each character struggles with belief, trust, and faith, especially the famous Christian character, Dr. April Kepner. Though the depiction of her faith was shallow and prosaic in her first seasons, her maturing relationship with God and understanding of faith has transformed not only her character, but those around her as well (isn’t that just how God works?).
Narrated from the perspective of Dr. Kepner, the episode closes with a description of Epiphany spirit as true as I’ve ever heard, which I share here, in case you need it today, I have surely needed it this week.
“some little bit of support, some bit of peace, some bit of closure;
something good, some little piece of beauty in the midst of something dark;
an unexpected gift just when its needed most.”
I appreciate knowing I’m not the only one who saw an awful lot of symmetry between Jesus healing and casting out demons in the lectionary this week and April asking for a miracle. The moment when she sees God working again in the ER aligned so well with our bible study conversation about not always being able to see a God when you don’t get your miracle.
Thanks for the last lines of the episode, I always forget them.