No Thank You, Buddy Love

Today I needed something to make me laugh, so my youngest son and I watched “The Nutty Professor” starring Eddie Murphy. I had seen it years ago, but my son hadn’t, so we sat and watched it together.

I remembered the character of Sherman Klump, the overweight professor, as being a really sweet person. He carried around this extra weight that made people treat him differently. Even though he was predisposed to having a difficult time with weight, everyone judged him based on it. He became desperate enough to take an untested potion to try to become what people would judge to be a better person.

It reminded me of people in my life who are important to me, who get judged every day for being who they are. Maybe some of these people tried to be like Buddy Love and to fit into social norms better. Buddy Love wasn’t who they were, but it was what everyone expected and liked better. One could even say that Buddy Love was less of a sinner in the public eye because he didn’t seem to show signs of overeating or what the Bible calls gluttony. But Sherman knew he wasn’t Buddy, and Buddy wasn’t really a very nice or happy person.

I hope to convey the idea of thinking twice before judging people based on how they appear outwardly, rather than who they truly are on the inside. Sherman had lots of gifts to give, gifts of thoughtfulness and kindness. I see those gifts in the Shermans that I know, those loved ones who are struggling not only with weight issues, but depression, or negative social reactions to those who are transgender or of a different sexual orientation. While society still may prefer something closer to Buddy Love, my love is for the Shermans of this world. I’m loving them for who they are and into whatever wholeness they can have with how they need to be, in order to be themselves.

 

Changing the Dream

Last night I had a dream

but it wasn’t MLK’s kind

instead it was of a brother and I

so estranged

and I’m sitting beside him

telling him about my grandson and his violin bow

and he suddenly asks, “Who are you talking to?”

I read it as being

his dismissal of me

and by the end of the story

playing out in my mind

I am sitting beside him

on the floor, up to his knees

small, sad, mistaken

that he would ever want to know

anything from me

about our one true connection

– music

 

I played it back in my mind, today

and when he asked me,

“Who are you talking to?”

I didn’t flinch.

I looked him right in his eyes and told him,

“I’m talking to the Light of the World

that resides in you,

that resides in all you’ve turned against in my family

I’m talking to God

and I’m trusting in Him,

that He’s talking to you.”