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  • Writer's pictureFr. Austin

Mercy - What the Doctor Ordered

Updated: Oct 31, 2019

When I was in high school, I remember watching PBS late nights on the weekends (yup, I was a party animal!), and they ran all sorts of British TV shows, like "Fawlty Towers," "Upstairs Downstairs," and "Red Dwarf." I found this humor right up my alley, so I enjoyed tuning in. As would usually happen, though, I would fall asleep with the telly on and awaken to their 1 a.m. offering of "Doctor Who." Now, this show intrigued me. First, there was the weird, even spooky intro music. Then, there was the really cheesy special effects and foam rubber and cardboard sort of aliens that the Doctor would battle. I couldn't look away!

Then, after seminary, the BBC began to produce the "New Who" in 2005, and I've been drawn back to a character that I can see a lot of divine imagery in. The Doctor is a God-like character, who chooses the human race as his favorites and spends a lot of time saving us. There's a great exchange between the 12th Doctor (I'll get into regeneration in another post) and his companion, Clara, after she has abused his trust and betrayed him. He continues to love her and offer his help and care - a fact that amazes Clara. Why would he do this? The Doctor responds, "Do you think that I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference?"

What a perfect illustration for us of God's love and mercy for us! How often do we betray God through sin - often the same sins? And what is God's response?

It's mercy. It's forgiveness. It's total, unconditional love. Not even our betraying Him can make a difference in that love.

The Doctor is an alien; and perhaps this sort of fidelity and love might seem alien to us. However, this is the love that Christ shows us, and it is the love that is God Himself. Nothing we can do can change that. Our only response can be wide-eyed awe at such great mercy.


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