I've been thinking about Izzie a lot this week. Actually, if you want to know the real truth I'll tell you. I've been worrying about Izzie a lot this week. She spent all day last Thursday standing outside Seattle Grace, trying to reenter the building and reclaim her life. But she couldn't. She couldn't walk back in and she couldn't reclaim her life because part of her life is gone. The tragic thing about Denny's death is that it occurred in the only setting Izzie knew him in. Her work, his hospital, his home.
There's just something about Izzie and I think I've put my finger on it. Aside from being the second hottest character on Grey's Anatomy (behind Dr. Montgomery-Sheperd,) Izzy is the one who seems to instinctively value human touch, relationships, and community more than anyone else, other than, perhaps, Dr. Burke. If Meredith, Christina, or George were in Izzie's shoes, and she in their's, Izzy would have walked in with them. She would have stood there until they decided to move. Then, when it became clear they could not find the inner resources to move, she would have held their hands and walked them in.
But they just walked in, naively believing that Izzie really meant it when she said she'd be right behind them. It's no surprise that it was Dr. Burke who, at the end of the day, had to point out that Izzie was still standing outside. In fact, this was one of the most understated, poignant moments in the show's run. Most of the really important scenes on Grey's Anatomy are accompanied by dramatic camera angles and emotional music. There was no fanfare in this scene but it is made visibly clear the chasm between people like Burke and Izzie, and the rest of the crew.
Early this morning before sunrise, in real person world, a demolition crew leveled the schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania where five Amish girls were killed by a crazed gunman last week. The community decided the building was too tainted by the memories of a horrific tragedy to be used again. I can't blame them.
The Amish (as well as the monks,) play an important role in our society. Their separation from the world serves to show the nature of Christ's kingdom is altogether "other" from the nature of the kingdom of this world. In this world, Christ's-kingdom-type moments occur, but are fleeting. Meredith lays on the floor grieving with Izzie. People bring food and show concern. But eventually, work calls, lives return to more ego-centric concerns, and everyone goes in different directions. It takes the prophetic voice of Preston Burke to jar the community back into recogition of Izzie's pain.
Yet in God's kingdom, people move on together after tragedy, not because it is tragedy but because moving on together is just what they do. It's who they are and they know no different. They tear down buildings but it's ok, they will build more and they will do it together. Izzie Stephens and Dr. Burke would make great Amish.
Last night the Creative Liturgy Project at church led an alternative service for the Hub. There were four rooms commemorating Mourning, Celebration, Rest, and Work. In each room were meditations, contemplations, and communion. Groups spent time in the rooms and then moved to the next and I'll tell you what I believe to be the most significant. Not the meditations, contemplations, and communion, but the moving to the next. Walking together, not alone.
We are not standing outside the scene of our tragedy, nor did we level it to the ground. We recreated. In the past year we've worked, rested, celebrated, and mourned in that place, and we've done it walking together.