Monday, September 7, 2015

Music Video Review: Flawless by MercyMe


A friend gave me a heads-up about this music video the other day, via the blog post Mercy Me, Your "Flawless" Video is Flawed.  That post, in my opinion, does a phenomenal job addressing why the above video is so harmful to the disabled community.

As a part of the disabled community myself, I have a hard time remaining even remotely objective about things such as this.  Frankly, they bring back a lot of bad memories of my experience with the oil and water phenomenon that was CP and Christianity.  My gut reaction is to get angry, and to be super offended.  Because it's 2015, and disability is still largely viewed as the result of sin - rather than another aspect of us being "fearfully and wonderfully made."

This video brought back for me, in vivid detail, why exactly I stopped attending church almost a decade ago.  In short, it's because my CP was all anyone could see - and not in an accepting, loving, "that makes you unique" kind of way.  It was seen as a negative.  As something to fix.  Anytime a stranger in our large congregation approached me, I was either an inspiration for doing exactly what everyone else did, or I was asked if they could pray "for my legs."

My CP was the only thing that mattered.  My heart didn't.  My hurt didn't.  If I admitted to struggling with anxiety and depression I wasn't trusting God enough.  If I didn't get healed physically in front of the giant room full of people, it was my fault.  I didn't have enough faith.  Only in my 20's at the time, these experiences were brutal.

So, seeing disability framed this way, on par with guilt, selfishness, and doubt is such a visceral experience for me.  It brings back in unflinching detail these years of my life when I was seen in only a single dimension.  (A distraction at best, and unacceptable at worst.)

We are not what they say we are, disabled friends.  We are multi-dimensional, lovely, made in secret and meant to be here.  Our disability only adds to what makes us so amazingly unique, so wonderfully made.

2 comments:

  1. I had such uncomfortable emotions when I watched this too. Thank you for writing about it and sharing your thoughts. I'm sorry for all that you experienced during your time in church. The way you were treated was short sighted and forgetful. Jesus almost never healed the body before FIRST addressing the soul because, just like with anyone, that is where healing was needed most. The message this video sends is harmful and confusing. The Down Syndrome part was especially frustrating to me. How do you "heal" and make "flawless" Down Syndrome, exactly? It's an inherent part of a person's genetic make up. To "heal" DS simply means the person would cease to exist. That's not healing. It's destroying an identity.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mary Evelyn, Thanks so much for your comment. The way you describe DS, I feel the same about my CP. It's not genetic, but "healing" that would make me an entirely different person, because it informs so very much of my life.

    ReplyDelete