Every Christian Needs to See What Kevin Did on “This is Us”

If you’re anything like me, you send the kids to bed a few minutes early on Tuesday nights so that you don’t miss one second of the popular new show, “This Is Us” on NBC. (And if they’re not quite in bed when the clock hits 8:00 CST, you’re praising Jesus for your DVR or Hulu subscription.) Right?

I’ll be honest. The show had me hooked from episode one. If you’ve somehow managed to make it this long without watching yet, just wait… you’ll fall quickly in love with each character just like we all have.

Before I say anything else, I need to make a few fast disclaimers.

  • Spoilers ahead. Sorry not sorry.
  • The show portrays real life situations – many of which are controversial. This isn’t where we’re going to stop and talk about what we should and shouldn’t be watching on TV. Okay? (Do I have big feelings on that? Yes. See my article on 50 Shades here. Are we talking about that right now? No.)

So, moving on, what was so powerful about last Tuesday night’s episode? As usual, the show hit on some major topics. In particular, the internet has been buzzing about the realistic portrayal of crippling panic/anxiety attacks. I was moved to tears by that scene. But there were a few things leading up to that moment that made it even more powerful when we stop and consider them.

Kevin.

You guys, just when we think we’ve got Kevin figured out…

This guy has always wanted to make sure he stood out despite being grouped in the middle of the big three. He pursued acting. He was cast as a not-so-bright character on the wildly popular sitcom “The Manny,” until one day when he realized he wanted to be taken seriously.

He didn’t just want to be seen. He wanted to be understood… but that would require him to figure out who he was first.

Kevin reminds me of King Solomon in Scripture. Not because of his wisdom, but because King Solomon had everything he could have ever wanted, yet nothing truly satisfied his heart. When King Solomon recognized this, he said in Ecclesiastes 1:14, “I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless–like chasing the wind.” (NLT)

Kevin seems to be realizing this same truth. He has been on a search for purpose and identity the entire season, but something transformative happened on Tuesday night’s episode. It wasn’t until Kevin remembered who his father was that he really began to understand who he was.

This is why this episode is so powerful for Christians. Okay, it’s powerful for EVERYONE, but Christian friends… hear me on this.

We’ve watched Kevin realize that his identity couldn’t just be wrapped up in being “The Manny.” We’ve watched him try to find his purpose as an artist on Broadway. We’ve wondered who Kevin Pearson would grow up to be.

But the conversation with Miguel changed everything. Didn’t it?

When Miguel leaned over to Kevin and said, “When the curtain goes up, you remember you’re Jack Pearson’s son,” Kevin found a new identity. He wasn’t just Kevin. He wasn’t just all of the roles he had played and decisions he had made. He was Jack Pearson’s son, and that meant something.

It’s why when the lights came up on the stage, Kevin wasn’t standing there. He was running to his brother. Being Jack Pearson’s son meant that Kevin could leave everything that he was looking to for his identity and find His true identity as He stepped into the role of a son and brother. Watch the powerful scene here.

I don’t know what plans they have for him in the upcoming episodes, but I know this. We are all Kevin Pearson.

We are all on some sort of journey to figure out who we really are, what we really want, what we want to be known for… And so much of it is a chasing after the wind.

But, you guys, our greatest and purest identity will always be found in who our Father is… as sons… as daughters… as children of God. Because when we remember what we saw our Father do, we can understand how to live it out as well.

Jesus prayed to His Father in John 17, “The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind— Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, So they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me. The same glory you gave me, I gave them, So they’ll be as unified and together as we are…” (Message Translation)

You guys, we’ve all been divided for so long. We’ve been self-focused, self-concerned, self-absorbed… not in an ugly way… just in the way that means we’re busy… we’re thinking about our own homes and our own lives and our own plans.

There’s us and there’s them. And both sides think they are the us.

But there is something powerful that happens when we remember who our Heavenly Father is. There is something powerful that happens when we remember that He commanded us to love one another. There is something extraordinary that takes place when we finally realize we will only be certain of who we are when we see ourselves first as children of God.

Because This is Us… is all of us.

Comments

  • Tabitha Mongold says:

    This is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing such beautiful thoughts.

  • Aleesha says:

    Yes! This is perfect!

  • Catherine says:

    Very poignant. I love the development of Kevin’s character. And I agree we all are Kevin. Great read. I love your work.

  • Robin Reusch says:

    It is a grab you show that pulls you in! I ‘m hooked and loved the analogy Becky. Well said. I know where we’ll be Tuesday nights! ❤

  • Laura says:

    Thanks so much for putting into words the exact things I saw and felt while watching this episode. I, too, do not believe all content, of any media, should be viewed or read, but This Is Us points to biblical truths on so many levels. God’s truth comes to the forefront even in secular places, we just need to be connected to Him so He can show us. Beautifully written.

  • DIVOIRE says:

    Amen…and I don’t watch the show in order to understand the scene. But, we are created in the image of God, thus in order to know who we are, we must remember who He is!

  • Roxanne says:

    This scene wrecked me too. I have a teenaged son that has struggled with a panic disorder. Seeing this portrayed as something that can happen to anyone, even the most put together, successful person, was so appreciated. There’s such a stigma that can be difficult to overcome. And, like Kevin, we all need to be the kind of people that gather struggling people into our arms and love on them, just like Jesus does for us. Thank you Becky for your beautiful insight. Love your writing and your heart.

  • Suzanne says:

    Thought provoking. You don’t ever think that you will be searching the hardest for hope for identity, for meaning after your kids are grown , after you’ve been working in a field you have enjoyed for many years. Anxiety and depression are your identity when you’re being real, all the rest is performance ‘the world’ required to pay the bills…

  • Deb Sanders says:

    I love, love, love the show and I loved your comparison! Very well-thoughtout and such true words! You are right to show us that by realizing that an amazing, loving, merciful God is our Father, we will begin to live as He plans for us to. We will be loving and merciful ourselves! Thank you for this article!

  • Donna says:

    I heard a quote not very long ago that says it best. It doesn’t matter as much who you are as Who’s you are..

  • Meaghan Grider says:

    This made me cry… Amen, my beautiful sister… This is US. So. Good.

  • Cindy says:

    I loved your message about this episode! I’m a huge fan of the show, and this week’s episode was so meaningful. I didn’t think to put Kevin’s experience into being God’s daughter until reading your article.
    Thank you!

  • laura jackson says:

    Simply THANK YOU!!!!

  • Beverly says:

    AMEN! Beautiful article on how we can find connections to our walk with Jesus in everything. It was wonderful to see how Kevin had matured & showed concern for Randall. He is Jack Pearson’s son, just as I am my Heavenly Father’s daughter! We must continue to grow and mature in Christ and show love & concern for one another I love This Is Us!

  • Matthew Rings says:

    Thank you for this great post, and using even television art to make important points about the human condition, and biblical relevance.

  • Laira says:

    That’s exactly what I thought when I watched Kevin running to the brother who needed him, “what WOULD my father do”?

  • Lisa says:

    Yes you may shed a tear with every episode but in the end hopefully all who watch THIS IS US comes out a little more human , compassionate and understanding !! Something many have lost ! At first I thought Kevin messed up again with his big chance but in the end though he may lose he still won and gained much more !

  • Melissa says:

    You really said it well! Thanks!

  • Leesa says:

    I have become so attached to these characters. It is beautiful to see a show with such true family love. They really are the most important people in each other’s life

  • Lynette says:

    beautiful. I just watched the episode this morning and cried so hard at that scene!!

  • Krystal L. Smith says:

    Nice post! We do put our son to bed a few minutes early on Tuesday night’s to get our weekly fix of This Is Us. Lol! I like your summary of Kevin and the compatison of Solomon. I think all of us struggle with our identities especially when we reach a pinnacle place in our lives and wonder if this is it, and we don’t want it to be it. There comes a point in your life when you want more, and the more is less about money and things and more about being taken seriously, becoming more spiritual, leaving a legacy for your family, not wanting to be alone for the rest of your, and/or making a positive impact on this Earth. In a sense, become altruistic, and giving more and taking less. Again, nice post. I enjoyed reading it.

  • Melinda Burchard says:

    So wonderfully reflective on a larger spiritual meaning that we can embrace in God’s relationship with us as our father and what that means as we live out lives as his children, as brothers and sisters.

  • Mary McDaniel says:

    Amen Amen Amen!!! Very well said.

  • Kathy Hardinger says:

    Love those possitive messages! Never watched the show, may start. Beautiful!

  • Dottie says:

    I just told a friend (and co-watcher) today that that exact scene left me an absolute mess last week. How awesome to put love for your brother above your own success. Best show on TV.

  • Catherine says:

    Thank you for this…it was a message meant for me. As I spend time trying to figure out the next phase of my blessed life ( way beyond worthy). I. Know I want to reflect my father too.

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