If I were Kathy Griffin’s friend, I’d want to be by her side now. It must be tough.
Most people by now have seen the horrible picture and video. It was bad. Really, bad. She has apologized. But it won’t be easy.
I hope she has some good friends by her side at this moment. I hope she doesn’t just have enablers, saying the world is just mad, that she was hilarious and people just didn’t get it. I hope she doesn’t have only the life-drainer types that hang around celebrities so often, just looking to better themselves. Nor just the ones who want to drag her out to a party and forget all about it, just to drop her off at home in the morning to deal with herself the next day.
If I were her friend, I’d want to talk to her about who she is, her feelings and emotions, but also her purpose. I’d want to talk to her about faith. I’d want to offer my love (frail as it is, as will be explained below) and offer the only meaningful hope I have ever found in life: the love of God.
What follows is what I might say.
You are so loved, Kathy. I know it is hard to see right now with all the brouhaha over your picture. I understand. I’ve done worse. You probably have, too. God is not impressed by how much attention our failings get. He is offended by our sin just as much when nobody knows about them.
Yet He pursues us. “While we were yet sinners,” Scripture tells us, He sent His son Jesus Christ to die for our “fumblings” — for our many sins.
That’s how He demonstrated His love for us, according to Romans 5:8. That’s how much He loves you. Not what you have done; we must all repent of our sins. Not the personas we have created for others to see as a way of guarding our hearts to ease our loneliness and pain; He sees right through that.
He loves us. You.
It’s miraculous. It’s unbelievable. And it is truly lovely. To receive this kind of love is true liberty. Won’t you give that love a chance?
True love. It’s not like what you see between men and women. This love — this love is different.
It’s captured in 1 Corinthians 13, and there you can easily see why it seems preposterous when we use it to describe the type of love we show for one another.
My wife and I have the verse on a big painting in our living room, and I often go through it and try to put a mental check mark on the things I’ve been doing right.
First one is brutal for me. “Love is patient,” it says. Well, I’m out right off the bat. If God were as patient with me as I sometimes am with my wife and children, I would’ve been the one on that cross.
“Love is kind”? Oh boy. I mean, it’s not like I don’t try to be kind. But I fail so often that I could never put a check mark on that one. The best I can say is that I have recurring flashes of kindness. But that’s just being kind with myself, which is nothing to brag about.
Love “does not envy.” Fail. “Does not boast,” fail. “It is not proud,” [laughter that turns to tears and then turns into 15 minutes of prayer].
“It does not dishonor others.” Ok, I might put a check mark here, but truth is I’m not fully confident. Especially if we consider our past.
I hope you see that aspect of love gets at the heart of the failure of your picture.
Love “is not self-seeking,” continues the passage. I got married precisely for this. I wanted someone to make me happy. Isn’t that what everyone tells us, “You deserve someone that will make you happy”?
It’s all baloney. Trust me. But that’s another conversation. For now, just know that it is not love.
Love “is not easily angered.” We all get angry, so we just have to reckon with the “easily” part, and I have to say I’ve learned to do much better. Check mark? I hesitate. Truth is, if you catch me on the wrong day, “bye-bye” check mark.
Love “keeps no record of wrongs.” I kept a gold star on this one for a long time; I thought I did so well. Then I realized it was partly because I thought my wife did not do so well with it. That meant that I was keeping a record of her keeping a record, and there went my gold star — along with my pride.
We could go on (Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never ends), but you get the picture.
God loves you that way. In a supernatural way. Your friends and family might give up on you. They will all fail you. But God’s love still pursues you. No matter what you have done.
You are not this picture. You are not your career. You were created “in His image.” That’s where your purpose comes from. Not from fame. Not from comedy.
You were created by God for God. Could I pray for you?