Thursday, May 31, 2007

My Childhood American Idol

Turns out Tammy Faye is pretty sick. You all know her, right? She's the woman who was married to Jim Baker and 1/2 of the duo from the PTL Club. Well, she is much more than that to me.

A little history:

When I was a child, I had a crush on Jesus. You're all laughing. I can hear it from here. :) Not in the Evangelical way but really. I wasn't raised in any sort of religion. I saw pictures of Jesus at the homes of friends but that's it. I thought he was so handsome and I would tell my grandmother that I wanted to marry him. This, of course, was the mormon Jesus who looks nothing like the Jesus I imagine now. Blond hair, blue eyes. Whatever. The point is that I had some odd connection to what I knew of him.

At a young age I began to watch the PTL Club on television. I was embarrassed if anyone commented on it because I knew it was odd. I thought my parents would be angry if I sent them my allowance so I stole stamps from my moms purse and did it in secret. I remember, specifically, sending them $9.63. Pennies and all. & I knew I'd be blessed - as would all the little hungry babies they kept showing me. Most of all, I wanted Tammy Faye to know that she made a difference to me. And that I loved her. I loved how she would cry when she'd pray and all that mascara would float down her face. When she'd raise her hands and sing I would have to purposely keep my hands at my side because my mimicking little paws would rise up just like hers - I felt her that much.

People caught on to me and I let peer pressure divide me from sweet Tammy Faye. I stopped watching just before the big scandal that ended her career with Jesus and sent her very odd husband to jail. But I've missed her over the years and I credit her for explaining what that "initial crush" was all those years ago. I was just craving a relationship with God - handsome or not - blond hair or not. And her big eyelashes and shaking voice felt to me like she knew him personally and all I had to do was spend a few minutes in the morning with her and she'd tell him all he needed to know about me. I didn't realize then, that he already knew how many hairs were on my head.

Anyway, she's now a fragile little woman - only 65 pounds. And she's taught this world to be gracious and kind to all people - even little girls like me.

Bless her.