Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tough and Tender

"We are not merely imperfect creatures
who must be improved: 
we are rebels who must lay down our arms."
C. S. Lewis

I'm not really "up" on TV shows.  I don't watch much. So it's not too surprising that I've only now discovered "Flashpoint," after it has already finished its 5-season run.

To say I'm "hooked" would be an understatement.

I'm such a sucker for this kind of thing.  I like my cops good.  I like 'em stocked with a boatload of that utterly irresistible combination of toughness and tenderness.

Not wimpy-good.  Not spineless do-gooders.  A word of command from Sergeant Parker (fans know that the word is "Scorpio"), and Ed Lane or the others will kill.  Parker would too, but his main job is negotiating.  He tries to bring about a peaceful solution if possible.  He hates the word "Scorpio," but he won't hesitate to say it when it needs to be said. And Ed won't hesitate to fire, but he'll feel the hurt of it.

And both men will gently comfort the traumatized whenever they can.  They'll speak words of encouragement and hope.  And they'll mean them, too.  They're not just trying to manipulate.

Tough and tender.  Sigh...gotta love it.

Why do I love that combo so much?  (And it's clearly not just me.  Shows don't last for 5 seasons without a serious fanbase.)  Why is it so compelling to see a man...someone who commands the firepower of a half-dozen teammates with guns trained on the subject... walk gently toward the subject and speak with quiet wisdom that sometimes...but only sometimes...wins the hardened heart over?  Why do we LOVE to see him take that risk, to see him care, to see him tempering all of that power with genuine meekness?

Are we just wired that way?

Who wired us?  Who wanted us to love the warring man of peace, the killer/savior?

Could it be that we're the rebels who want to be won over?

Could it be that we know in our hearts that there's Someone out there to whom we're accountable, and we know He has both the power and the right to kill us for our treason?  Could it be that we love to see a powerfully meek (not wimpy) Savior who can win our hearts, talk us down from our suicidal rebellion, and give us a reason to hope again...all without sacrificing justice?

To hear the world talk, you'd think the answer was "no."  The world doesn't want to be told it's sinful.  Or accountable.  Or worthy of death.

But when we see our guilt...oh, when we see it...when we see the smoking gun in our hands, the telltale blood on our souls, the crushing wrongness of it all...either we will despair and rebel to the bitter end, or we will love the Tough and Tender Savior. We'll lay down our arms and rush into His.

And we'll never get tired of His story.

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