Happy friday! What better way to celebrate than with our favorite Friends? This week we are visiting season 2, episode 3, The One Where Heckles Dies. While watching this episode, two main plot lines grabbed me. I wrestled over which one to share like Joey wrestling over whether to put pepperoni or ham on his sandwich, and I went with Joey’s solution—both. I mean, if a sandwich can have more than one meat a #FUF post can have more than one message, right? (Seeing as I’m a vegan, I’m not 100% sure on this but I’m going with “yes”!)
As the title tells us, this is the episode where Heckles dies. And his last act of vengeance against “the noisy girls upstairs” is to bequeath them with all his earthly possessions—no money and a junked up apartment to clean out.
Storyline #1: Chandler has serious dating issues. He breaks up with girls for any minor flaw they might have (nostrils too big, head to big, Janice).
Phoebe: You name one woman that you broke up with for a actual real reason.
Chandler: Maureen Rosilla.
Ross: “’Cause she doesn’t hate Yanni,” is not a real reason.
Storyline #2: Phoebe and Ross’s great evolution debate.
Phoebe: I’m sorry, but sometimes they need help. (Everyone groans) That’s fine. Go ahead and scoff. You know there’re a lot of things that I don’t believe in, but that doesn’t mean they’re not true.
Joey: Such as?
Phoebe: Like crop circles, or the Bermuda triangle, or evolution?
Ross: Whoa, whoa, whoa. What, you don’t, uh, you don’t believe in evolution?
Ross is appalled at Phoebe’s lack of belief in, for him, the basis of his profession and belief system, to the point where he just can’t let it go.
Ross: Ok, Pheebs. (He’s holding two little toys.) See how I’m making these little toys move? Opposable thumbs. Without evolution, how do you explain opposable thumbs?
Phoebe: Maybe the overlords needed them to steer their spacecrafts.
Ross: Please tell me you’re joking.
Phoebe: Look, can’t we just say that you believe in something, and I don’t.
Ross: No, no, Pheebs, we can’t, ok, because it’s like math. One plus one equals two. I can’t stand by and let you think that one plus one might equal three or four or yellow!
Phoebe: Why not? What is this obsessive need you have to make everyone agree with you? No, what’s that all about? I think, I think maybe it’s time you put Ross under the microscope.
Ross: (To Chandler) Is there blood coming out of my ears?
To me, Ross is a stand-in for anyone of any belief system who will not be satisfied until everyone agrees with them. To the point they will get snippy and mean and irate (possibly even violent) about it. Every belief system has a group of people like this. They are well intentioned. They strongly believe what they believe, and I think they really just want the best for everyone. The thing is (and I’m going to use Christianity as an example because that is what I believe in), even Jesus did not shove Truth down people’s throats. He travelled around loving on people, teaching those who wanted to learn, giving people options. There is no record, to my knowledge, of Jesus screaming in someone’s face that they have to believe. Rather he presents people with a choice, an option to believe in him and have all their past, present, and future sins washed away. And, he didn’t really ask that of them/us until he went to the cross and died in all of our places, taking on the punishment for every sin ever committed or to be committed. But the key point is that it is our choice what to do with the Truth he presented to us. God doesn’t force us to accept Jesus, he lets us.
Storyline #1: Chandler and Heckles
Chandler: Wow, Heckles was voted class clown, and so was I. (There’s a banging coming from upstairs.) He was right. Would you listen to that?
Phoebe: I’d call that excessive.
Chandler: Heckles played clarinet in band, and I played clarinet. And he was in the scale modeler’s club, and I was, well, there was no club, but I sure thought they were cool.
Joey: So, you were both dorks. Big deal.
Chandler: I just think it’s weird, you know? (The banging is back.) Heckles and me, Heckles, and me, me and Heckles… (He picks up the broom and bangs on the ceiling) Would you knock it off? (Everyone stares) (Realizes) Bah! (He throws the broom down.)
“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. ~ Matthew 5:3-5 NLT
Chandler, who thought Heckles was a quack with no life and no friends, suddenly realizes he has a lot in common with this man he looked down upon.
Chandler: Look at this. Pictures of all the women that Heckles went out with. Look what he wrote on them. (As he mentions each name and description, he hands a picture to Joey.) Vivian, too tall. Madge, big gums. Too loud, too smart, makes noise when she eats. This is, this is me. This is what I do. I’m gonna end up alone, just like he did.
Joey: Chandler, Heckles was a nut case.
Chandler: Our trains are on the same track, ok? Yeah, sure, I’m coming up 30 years behind him, but the stops are all the same. Bitter Town. Aloneville. Hermit Junction.
Chandler recognizes that if he doesn’t change the course he’s on, the way he lives, the choices he makes, that he is going to end up going the same way as Heckles (and he doesn’t want that, to the point he calls up Janice). How can we FUF (finding unauthorized faith) in this?
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. ~ John 14:1-6 ESV
Jesus explained that there are different paths or ways to live, and they all lead somewhere. His plea or offer was for whoever wanted to to follow his path in which he walked before us leading the way. During his ministry he showed us what it is to love God and love others. Then he said, give me all your baggage, everything that’s weighing you down and keeping you from this path, I’ll carry it ahead, you just follow and do as I do. Love as I love.
Jesus lived out that for those who follow him that though they may die physically (as Jesus did) they will one day resurrect and live on in eternity with God (as he did and is doing). Then one day there will be a new heaven and new earth, a perfect heaven and earth, where we will return and live in peace. That is the offer Jesus is giving us (going back to Pheebs) to choose, but it is up to us to decide if we believe what he said was true or if we even want what he has offered.
I hope it is pretty obvious what I have chosen, that is the whole purpose for this blog. To share my faith through my fandom. To relay the message so that others have the option to chose too. I never want to scream or insult or force anyone to believe in Christ—that wouldn’t be real belief.
Storyline #2: Phoebe & Ross
(Ross enters carrying a briefcase.)
Phoebe: Uh-oh. It’s Scary Scientist Man.
Ross: Ok, Phoebe, this is it. In this briefcase I carry actual scientific facts. A briefcase of facts, if you will. Some of these fossils are over 200 million years old.
Phoebe: Ok, look, before you even start, I’m not denying evolution, ok, I’m just saying that it’s one of the possibilities.
Ross: It’s the only possibility, Phoebe.
Phoebe: Ok, Ross, could you just open your mind like this much, ok? (Holding her thumb and forefinger close together) Wasn’t there a time when the brightest minds in the world believed that the world was flat? And, up until like what, 50 years ago, you all thought the atom was the smallest thing, until you split it open, and this like, whole mess of crap came out. Now, are you telling me that you are so unbelievably arrogant that you can’t admit that there’s a teeny tiny possibility that you could be wrong about this? (Monica and Rachel are intrigued.)
Ross: There might be…a teeny…tiny…possibility.
Phoebe finally gets Ross to leave her alone. He’s presented her with his argument, but she’s choosing not to believe. She’s told him why, and he reluctantly gets it, his faith even wavering for a moment. Both have presented their beliefs to the other because that’s what we do when we believe in something, we share it. Sharing is a natural bi-product of faith in anything. The hairy line that gets crossed is when we try to force others to believe in what we do, or else. Belief is the one thing no one can rob or impose upon us. We can say we believe something just to protect ourselves, but true faith in a heart choice.
Choose what you believe, share it with others, but let them choose which way they want to go and love them anyway.
I hope you’ve enjoyed your pepperoni and ham sandwich. 😉
**Transcripts from: http://uncutfriendsepisodes.tripod.com/