Writer Shakira Peronet sat down to watch Netflix’s Harry and Meghan documentary with the popcorn ready to get the inside scoop on the royal upset. But all she could think about was Jesus’ response to judgement and the way he modelled love.
With the latest Netflix documentary out, I was eager to hear what Meghan and Harry had to say. Social media was already brewing with opinions, some defending the couple’s decision to “speak their truth” and others calling them “a disgrace”. I wondered which team I would be on by the end of episode three.
There’s something about the press and media that gives us a false sense of intimacy with subjects of articles and documentaries. Yet simultaneously they leave enough distance that we don’t see the people as an individuals anymore. I felt like I wanted to be involved in the discussion and have a real opinion on whether the Sussex’s decision to leave their royal duties was justified or dramatic. But as a Christian I am reminded of John 8:7 when Jesus said: “Let he without sin cast the first stone.” So often we can be like the crowd in that story, wanting justice for others and grace for ourselves. It’s fun, it feels good, we can feel entitled to it but it’s not like the character of Jesus.
I wanted to be involved in the discussion and have a real opinion on whether the Sussex’s decision to leave their royal duties was justified or dramatic.
As Harry and Meghan shared their experiences of the paparazzi in the first episode it’s easy to think: “Is it really that bad?” But imagine if your trauma and experience was invalidated, judged or criticised by those who you’ve never met. It would be so painful for people to have a “my suffering is worse than yours attitude.”
Jesus cares about our experiences and is compassionate towards them. He meets people where they’re at, he doesn’t measure the “validity of pain” before offering love and grace. Look at how Jesus reacted to Mary and Martha’s grief after the death of Lazarus: “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. ‘Where have you laid him?’ he asked. ‘Come and see, Lord,’ they replied. Jesus wept.” John 11:33
Jesus showed us that love and compassion trump all logic and reason.
Despite the fact that Jesus knew he was on the way to raise Lazarus from the dead, he acknowledged the emotion of the tide around him and connected with it. We can clearly see that love and compassion trump all logic and reason. Love always wins. I believe we can watch Netflix’s Harry and Meghan documentary in a healthy way. But we may need to pray for an awareness that this is two people sharing their thoughts and views on a very unique experience. Let us choose love and not judgement.