I loved Matthew Perry from the first episode of FRIENDS and long after, following his career and all the other talented actors and actresses on the show (which everyone knows is my favorite). When his memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, came out, I got it immediately on Audible and listened to him tell his own story of being broken down by addiction. For the first time, I felt like I knew him–and by knowing him, I feel I am more justified in loving him. It’s the same for many other celebrities. The more I see Taylor Swift interact with her fans and Dolly Parton serve her community, the more I learn of Selena Gomez’ fight with Lupus or Christina Applegate’ revelation of MS (something my best friend lives with), the more I love them, feel I know them, and respect them.
But what about when a celebrity I love does something I hate? What do we do when we figure out someone we’ve followed for years and enjoyed for years is not a good person, has hurt others, and maybe isn’t likeable after all?
These are what my circle of people call “first world problems.” They are modern problems that we didn’t have just a few decades ago, and that many around the world don’t have. We have, in America, celebrities who post about their daily life and families. We have access to them like never before, and it can make us feel like we know them. This concept is intriguing to me, because how we get to know them is exactly how we can get to know God.
Do you believe the Bible is the story of God? If you do, then you, like me, might use it in the way we use memoirs today to get to know celebrities. Some people are bothered by the Bible–the boring histories, the legalistic culture of Israel, the bloodshed, the end times. From start to finish it is, above all, a tell-all. Sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes hard to read, sometimes you may even have to set it aside and reflect or take a break. However, the Bible will remain, the story of God. It shares who He is throughout the ages. What more could you ask in a memoir?
“Ask Me Anything”
Do you ever ask your favorite celebrities questions? Sometimes they may post on Facebook or Instagram stories the little question box with the quip “Going on a long flight today. Ask me anything!” and suddenly we have the opportunity to do just that. After we ask our questions about their personal or professional life, we may check and recheck the stories to see if they chose our question to answer. Though disappoint may win for a time, the dopamine punch we get when we get our answer is worth it all. Right?
It’s not unlike prayer, in which we make requests and then await our answers. But in prayer, we often lose track of checking back to see if there’s been an answer. We may forget and miss the answer completely! Why do we do that?
Meet & Greet
Sometimes, at a convention or fan event, there are Meet & Greets where a fan can pay money to meet a celebrity. Oftentimes it’s just a handshake, hug, picture, and autograph, so people pay $100 and more for 3-5 minutes of interaction. Afterward, you’re marched away by a security guard and the next person is led up to the velvet rope that stands between them and their dream meeting. We often forget that we have access to God Himself through the Holy Spirit for free and at anytime.
A Real Connection
To be fair, it’s great to consume music and films by actors you feel deserve the recognition. It’s even better to follow them on social media if you feel they deserve that connection with you. What is even more important is the connection we have to the ultimate celebrity–the Creator of the universe and life bringer to our bodies–God Almighty. Do you access Him daily? Do you read His memoir, meet Him daily (for free), and ask Him your curious, fun, and serious questions?
If you don’t, I invite you to. He does not travel incognito wearing wigs and sunglasses. He doesn’t make reservations under an alias. He doesn’t charge for autographs. God makes every channel available to us for free through the Holy scriptures, the Holy Spirit, and the miracle of prayer.
Tap into that.