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Mourning the Passing of Joan (of Arcadia)

Suzie Chamness


Now I know I am doomed. The cancellation of the show "Joan of Arcadia" is the final straw for me. After all where will I go to enrich my mind about how God infiltrates the world today?

Maybe I have just been watching too much TV. Nope, don't think so. I am a seminary student and some weeks Joan kept me sane. After all, why couldn't God come to her in the form of a fellow student, albeit it one with many rings and tattoos. And why shouldn't God be able to claim the body alive in a small and extremely intelligent child of 8 or 9. After all, isn't it written that unless we become like small children, we cannot see God's kingdom.

My revised views of God in the present or past tense has been somewhat shuffled in the past years in seminary. I entered a quiet recovering Southern Baptist lady and now I am sure of only one thing and that is that I am not able to accept "all" those wonderful teachings of my youth.

I have a tendency to believe that God is all about us. I certainly believe that God is all around me. I sometimes see the love of God in a small child or perhaps an adult. It isn't so much the body that I see God in as much as the goodness and mercy that radiates forth from that person.

The deeds of God in the form of humankind are many. I am very much a believer that there are few coincidences in life. God places people in our lives for one reason or another to remind us of that great and wonderful love that we are to know, to accept and to share.

This comes via others. God sent Jesus to die for us but I believe God works through people each day to help our faith to grow. It is difficult to see and often I know I overlook much of Gods grace and love that is there if I were only not to busy or not so shortsighted.

A dear friend of mine died a few months ago. I was walking in some store, perhaps a Wal-Mart and down an isle I saw a lady that looked in shape and hair color a lot like my friend. It wasn't her but I always think that there is a reason that I needed to see this person who resembled my friend. Was that to tell me that she was there in that wonderful place with God and I should be happy for her? I don't know, but I do believe that people come and go, sometimes quickly, in our lives and there may very well be a special reason that we need them, just at that time and in that place.

I can't imagine being Joan of Arcadia, and sure I know it's just a TV show with a tremendous writing staff leaving me in the lurch. I found the show inspiring. I haven't had any conversations with strangers telling me what good deeds I should be doing for others but I will always contend, Joan or not, that God works through people today, in this place and in our lives if we only just listen to that still marvelous voice. If we only observe the world around us a little more, maybe we would find that God really does speak to us through other. Anyway, I will keep listening.


Donna Sue Chamness is a staff person at King of Peace MCC in St. Petersburg. She is currently a student at Florida Center for Theological Study.

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