ABC’s hit reality series “The Bachelorette” wrapped up last week. Many people, including host Chris Harrison, labeled it the “most dramatic season” in the show’s history.
Bachelorette Hannah Brown won the admiration of countless viewers for her strength amidst several controversies both during and after her season on the show.
After watching her journey from start to finish, I believe there was one particular moment when she truly shined--and my choice is probably not a popular opinion.
The show’s season finale confirmed rumors that Hannah’s final pick--Jed Wyatt--had been seeing another woman and had even told her he loved her and that he would return to her. This all happened just days before he left to start filming the show.
Wyatt failed to tell Hannah any of this information throughout the season, so she had to learn the full story in an article detailing his previous relationship in People magazine after the two were already engaged.
Brown confronted then-fiancé Wyatt and it was all captured on video. In the video, which aired during the live audience season finale, Brown told Wyatt she felt betrayed and that this experience had been “stolen” from her.
He admitted that all of the reports about his previous relationship had been true and that he had avoided being honest due to his fear of losing her.
Brown’s fans could be heard screaming, “Take the ring off!” as they watched her final conversation with Wyatt before she called quits on their relationship.
Almost all of Bachelor Nation rallied behind Hannah and took to social media to shame the now-disgraced Wyatt.
The studio audience was no different as they booed him onto the stage during the final episode where Harrison interviewed both Wyatt and Brown post-breakup.
When asked if she and Jed were officially “over,” Hannah confirmed she had called off the engagement.
What happened next could be easily skipped over, but I think it was Hannah’s finest moment in the spotlight.
The audience started clapping and cheering upon hearing the news she had dumped Jed. But Hannah stopped them saying, “It’s not something to clap about. It’s really sad.” She then turned to Jed and told him although he had hurt her, it wasn’t her intention to hurt him back. She also expressed her sympathy and concern about the hateful messages he and his family had received amidst the drama.
In that moment, Brown exemplified something we need a whole lot more of in this world: grace.
The grace I’m referring to is not the descriptor for poise--although she did display plenty of that quality--I mean grace as a verb.
Brown easily could have allowed the crowd to attack the man who had--as she described--broken her heart. Instead, she chose to show compassion and treat him with dignity. She forgave him publicly even when he did not, in the eyes of many, deserve forgiveness.
I believe Brown’s Christian faith gave her the strength at that moment to do the unpopular thing and give mercy to Wyatt.
In a culture where people are encouraged and even celebrated for getting swept up in their emotions and pointing out the wrongs of others, Brown chose to follow a different example.
Ironically, she deserves the most applause for stopping a crowd giving applause. By shifting the tone of that environment and treating Wyatt with respect, she displayed the type of kindness and decency we all need when we’ve desperately failed. And make no mistake---we ALL disappoint people in our lives at one point or another.
Jesus died and forgave all of us, and as hard as it is sometimes--because people do have the capability to deeply hurt us--He asks us to forgive them anyway.
Brown told Harrison that, although her journey was messy, she hoped God could use it to inspire viewers who might feel lost or alone in their struggles to find healthy and loving relationships.
As Christians, we should all adopt this mindset.
Although most of us will never live out our real-life struggles on national TV, we are all seen by others in some capacity.
God can use our heartbreaks and disappointments not only to transform our hearts, but to help encourage others who experience similar let-downs.
I’m so proud Brown turned to her faith as a constant throughout her story on "The Bachelorette," and I’ll be praying she finds a new relationship that mirrors the perfect, grace-filled love of Jesus.