Today I watched the first episode of Season 2 of Queer Eye (which is my absolute obsession and Jonathan Van Ness is my spirit animal and I love it all so much you should go watch it NOW), and it had me in tears at least two times. It left me feeling so inspired and spoke to my SOUL.
In this episode, the Fab 5 visit Mamma Tammye in Gay, Georgia, where she has asked them to help her prepare for her church’s homecoming event. Instead of giving herself and her home a makeover, she asks the Fab 5 to help finish the church’s new community building. Y’all. God was speaking TRUTH through Mamma Tammye, and this episode inspired me so greatly. I just had to write about it so those who are missing out and don’t watch the show can still learn from this remarkable lady.
What Would Jesus Do?
Mamma Tammye loves these men like Jesus does and takes seriously the question – What Would Jesus Do? It’s not just an acronym you slap on a bracelet you get at church camp for her, it is a serious question she asks herself every day. And when we read the Bible, we see how Jesus loved ALL people without judgment or hesitation or an agenda. God IS love and He loves every one of us no matter what. Seeing Mamma Tammye love every person she encountered with unreserved joy and laughter inspires me to truly consider – What would Jesus do? – in every encounter I have.
Mamma Tammye has a conversation with Bobby, who has been greatly hurt and rejected from the church. She reminds him that he is still loved and a child of God. She drops this truth bomb as she speaks to him, helping him see that Jesus would never ever push him away or make him feel isolated because of who he was.
“You can’t antagonize and evangelize at the same time.”
YES Mamma Tammye!! This line had me smiling ear to ear. As Christians, we are called to love like Jesus loves. Which means showering others with acceptance and grace and compassion, not judgment, hate, or indifference.
Mamma Tammye was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through chemotherapy treatment where she lost all her hair. In a conversation with Jonathan, she explains why she chose not to cover up her baldness. She shares that she felt that God was telling her,
“I want people to see openly what I’m doing for you.”
She wasn’t afraid to look a little different or what people might say about her – she cared more about people seeing Jesus than seeing herself. She cared more about how people could know Jesus through her story and trial. This is a woman absorbed by the love of God that she wants others to know so desperately.
In a scene around the dinner table, Antoni and Tan ask Mamma Tammye about how she reacted when her son came out to her. She shares that she had to have a hard conversation with her son about this. She had to admit her sin of not loving him unconditionally as he is and asked for his forgiveness. What humility and confidence in Christ’s mercy and love for her to be able to ask for forgiveness like that and be so honest.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. ~Hebrews 4:16
It can be scary to admit when we are wrong. It can be embarrassing to admit our faults and where we have not loved others like we are called to. But God, rich in mercy and grace, will never turn his back on us when we go to him and ask for forgiveness. And his strength gives us the confidence to move forward and admit our faults and ask for forgiveness from those we have also wronged.
Celebrate Gifts, Trust Provision
At the end of the episode, the Fab 5 show Mamma Tammye the renovated community building at her church. She is struck with awe and praise. She addresses them, thanking them and recognizing that God’s grace is the reason why all this came together. She gives God the glory the entire episode from start to finish. She was confident that this building would come together and that the week would be full of growth. She says to the Fab 5,
“Before he gave the vision, he already made the provision because he knew you guys would wind up together.”
She trusted that God would provide, and he did – through these amazing, inspiring, five gay men coming to Gay, Georgia.
Mamma Tammye goes on to then name the gifts each member of the Fab 5 brings to this world and how they make the world a better place. She is so specific and encouraging in how she names their gifts.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. ~Romans 12:6
We all have different gifts that we specifically are blessed with. I am so encouraged by Mamma Tammye to begin naming those gifts in my friends and family and the people I meet. Perhaps if we celebrated one another’s unique gifts more, we would be less tempted to compare or wish we were more like another. Tammye reminds them that they are using their individual gifts for the good of all humanity, and that THAT is our ultimate purpose.
All in all…this episode was incredible and you just felt like Mamma Tammye had given you a big hug after watching it. More than that, you heard God’s voice breathed throughout the entire 50 minutes. You saw and heard from a woman who teaches us how to love like Jesus does. God can use anything and anyone to further his kingdom, and I felt him move so greatly through this episode of Queer Eye.
The very end of the episode ends with Bobby encouraging us all to accept anyone and everyone because THAT is what Jesus would do. And I just hope and pray that
1) you go watch this episode on Netflix immediately and
2) that you know you are loved by the God of the universe and that you are blessed with gifts that are making this world a better place.