Standing up with Jonathan Jackson
At a busy youth fellowship the local priest screened from his iphone a short YouTube clip from the recent 2012 Emmy Awards. Projected onto the big screen was the acceptance speech of an actor who none of us knew. He did not go with the usual run-of-the-mill speech of thanking all his producers, family and viewers, but he had something more to say. Jonathan Jackson, standing before a full auditorium and broadcasted worldwide, made the sign of the Cross and professed his Orthodox Faith. To me it was truly the most remarkable thing I had seen on TV for a long time. Virtually unknown in Australia Jonathan Jackson is now recognised by many young Orthodox. Thanks to the marvels of the digital age his speech has been uploaded, texted, emailed, retweeted & posted for everyone to be inspired. His speech was honest, humble & so very Orthodox. Recently converted to Orthodoxy (a member of the Greek Orthodox Church) he expressed his Faith sincerely and showed great spiritual development for someone so new to the Faith. In the typical Orthodox mind-set he expressed his need for love, Grace and finished by thanking the monks of Mt Athos for ‘unceasingly praying for the life of the world’ – I never thought an acceptance speech could be so spiritual! After this introduction to Jackson, I immediately felt the need to learn more about him. Upon listening to a podcast interview I discovered a man whose sincerity was only matched by their long-term determination to discover the true Faith. Jackson is not a religious ‘show-pony’, using his Faith to gain attention. Instead he is a man who, like a piece of steel toughened by a fiery fire, is illumined by the Truth after an exhaustive spiritual search. Upon hearing his life story I came to understand what made him able to stand before the world to witness – humility. By him being totally open to the will of God Jackson came to be transformed and affirmed in knowing who God really is. When I think back to that clip I like to think that I too would be able to stand up with Jackson, hopefully. Although his show ‘General Hospital’ is not screened in Australia, Jonathan Jackson is now not just a soap-star but an inspirational Orthodox Christian. God grant him & his family many years!!!