24 October 2005


Those of you who know me well, know of my long addiction to the Law & Order franchise. There was a time when the theme music to the original was the only sound that would bring calm to LightBoy's crying as a baby. There are episodes that I have memorized. Some would call it a sickness ... including me on my better days. But I keep watching. I think I watch, because I know the character's voices so well that I can listen and sew.

In any case, a new season of television has begun. And the new season of Criminal Intent has been really good. But last night's episode should win awards. It won't. But it should. In the beginning an older nun was murdered and inwardly I groaned. I thought, "oh ... and how stupid are they going to make people of faith look this time?" But I was in for a pleasant surprise. As it turned out the episode turned on the sins in the past of a young nun. She had lured a black man to a severe beating that left him slightly more than vegetative, but not much more. His younger brother cared for him and was looking for the woman (now a nun, but he didn't know this) who could give evidence against the men who had administered the beating. It was the younger brother in a passion to find this woman who had killed the older nun that sparked the investigation. Get it? Okay ...

In the climactic scene where two detectives question the younger nun about her troubled past, I was struck by how sensitively the producers handled it. She was clearly struggling with what to tell, how much, whether or not to trust God, trust the police, and how to clear her conscience. In the medium of television where thoughts must be depicted with pictures, her eyes wandered to a painting of Jesus struggling with through the streets of Jerusalem with the cross ... the crowd pressing in on him. And she clearly drew strength from knowing that her God had walked down the same path that she was about to. And I thought, "wow ... this can't really be on tv, can it?" This sensitive portrayal of courageous faith doing the right thing. Faith that was only courageous with the support of a community of others. Faith for the moment and in the moment. Faith that lived with open hands in a tight-fisted world.

I wept with that television nun as she found her courage, confessed her part in evil and rid herself of its shame. I wonder if those producers know that they were really showing us a little glimpse of God's Kingdom last night. But I did. And I'm glad.


Blogger kate said...

I'm really glad to see someone else addicted to the occasional TV show. Even if you had to justify blogging about it by putting that God stuff in there. :)
(cool observation. Good for the writers, etc.!)

10/25/2005 12:07:00 PM  

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