All in the line of duty

I recently had a long bank holiday weekend away from social media in sympathy with much of the sporting community’s boycott to stand up against online abuse of various kinds. I have previously written about how we need to stand up against bullies of all kinds and I hope that we will see greater responsibility and kindness in the online world in the days ahead – the fight for this goes on and we will not tolerate it!

This did mean, however, that I missed much of the reaction, dare I say it media storm in the aftermath of the finale of series 6 of Line of Duty which is has seemingly gripped the nation in recent weeks. British TV drama at its best and I can boast of being an early viewer from series one in its BBC2 days!

Many, it appears, have been underwhelmed, disappointment even, at this latest instalment and perhaps expectations had been running amazingly high. If you were looking for a shootout in the AC12 glass box, a criminal mastermind on the run in Spain or the tragic death of one of our beloved heroes then it just didn’t happen. If that was what you were dependent on for your adrenalin rush then yes you would be underwhelmed, I guess because no-one on Sunday evening was actually killed in the line of duty.

But hang on there, let this latest twist grow on you maybe now and perhaps in my blog I can help you reflect on a few things. In short do not ‘despise the day of small things’(Zechariah 4:10) and ask yourself could less be more in this case? Here are a few things to ponder:

Firstly, some truths can be hidden in plain sight, as had the villain of the piece. It is possible to be so preoccupied with the big picture or the presuppositions or our theories about the way people operate that we can miss what is under our noses, the immediate. I employed my Agatha Christie method in deciding it must be the least likely person – and I was wrong! We can overthink things in everyday life and despite Jed Mercurio’s twists and turns we can find that Occam’s razor can still hold – the truth can be simple.

Secondly, to discover that the much sought after ‘fourth man’ is not a classic criminal mastermind but someone who we have hitherto thought of as a buffoon is a much-needed angle on things. Corruption, immorality and wrong behaviour can be costly can also be a slow unplanned journey in itself. Whilst it might make us feel better to label the baddie as in essence unlike us, the truth is somewhat more ambiguous and surely more shocking that the ordinary foolish person can get sucked and succumb. Lies did indeed cost lives and they can be closer to home than we imagine.

Thirdly as Ted Hasting’s turns back to the office to make his confession about an action that he previously had taken which had grave consequences it is a truly beautiful and confessional and healing moment as he does what he needs to do to get it off his chest. Arnott does likewise in opening up about his pain and his problems to his colleagues and his friends and it is not the end of the world for him as he might have thought and hope arises. Between this team, we witness maturity, truth, honesty, transparency and compassion which in this case leads to restored trust, relationship and renewed purpose. The three of them are together in a way that had not been seen for some time and this is the shock and the twist that the viewers did not expect or probably desire.

That is the unexpected nature of this brilliance and that’s how I see it anyway. You might not agree I know but maybe you will agree, as you read this, that even these fictitious outcomes can help us grow in the values of the God who is the source, guide and goal of all that is. What will you do in your line of duty in response?

And the final thing is this; spelling does matter – definately!

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