My last blog on Grey’s Anatomy ended with the hope that the writer’s would work us through April’s sexual encounter with Jackson. I was particularly hopeful that she would move from feeling as if Jesus hated her for giving in to sexual temptation, to receiving his grace and forgiveness. Just like real life, last week’s episode didn’t resolve that easily.
April, still reeling over her decision to give in to premarital sex after maintaining her virginity all this time, finds herself in the bathroom, stressed to the max during her boards. Since Mer and Christina won’t allow her in the women’s bathroom, she barges in to the men’s room and tells them to get over it. They are all doctors. But there, she encounters Jackson (the source of her temptation) once again. Jackson is distressed with mommy issues during his boards. The stress and the pressure bring the two together again. As they commiserate, they discuss the sex and April brings the discussion to a critical point. Giving in to temptation feels good.
This conflict and confusion are real. We have our values, our beliefs. We have the Word of God that gives us the guidelines of appropriate sexual behavior. Basically, sex outside of marriage is wrong.
April knows all of this but is confronted with temptation. Now that she has given in to it, she knows how good it feels.
And this is real life struggle–how to resist temptation when temptation feels really good for the moment. This is the struggle most of us face, whether it is overeating, sex, overspending, etc. And of course, a reason we fall into temptation is because it feels good for the moment. So April, who doesn’t “flee from temptation,” but engages it once again, gives in again. She has sex in the bathroom.
Then, during her boards, she has a sort of coming out moment. She tells the reviewers that she would first pray with a terminal patient. Doubt overtakes her for the moment as she wonders if God is still listening to her given her sin.
What follows is an ah-ha moment of realizing she has been hiding who she is for years, afraid of being laughed at, judged and considered less of a doctor because of her faith.
Her strongest line is then delivered. “I’m done hiding.”
The dialogue is well-written and represents the struggle with living out one’s faith in a culture that is filled with temptation and often negatively judges people of faith.
We have no idea where the writers will take us from here in terms of her character. She completely melts down after these brief insightful moments. How will they handle the impulsive sexual experiences when every day life returns?
I liked seeing the struggle of faith–giving in to what feels good, confused by how that impacts her relationship with God, and coming to the conclusion to stop hiding.
If April stays with her faith, works through forgiveness, and learns to be true to herself, that would be redeeming and hopeful. And even if they allow the character to struggle to integrate her faith into everyday life, that could be good if it is done with writers who understand the Christian faith. But usually, writers of Christian characters make Christians look like crazy people. They don’t usually know how to make faith work or show the victorious side of living out one’s faith.
So here is hoping this could be different.