Hi. My name is Jack. [Group response: Hello Jack.] I have a confession. I am an obsessive person. Anyone who knows me for more than ten minutes understands it’s the truth—I admit it. It can be good or bad depending on the focus of my obsession at the time. For the past month I’ve obsessed over the TV Show, “CHUCK.” Most likely I drive my poor family crazy and they’ve demonstrated much patience at my obsession—as they always do.
CHUCK is about a computer nerd who receives a computer in his brain enabling him to do all sorts of exploits. While on a simple level the show unravels those exploits in a humorous fashion the underlying storyline, and the greater valuable lesson I might add, is the salvation of Chuck’s CIA handler and eventual wife, Sarah Walker. She’s a government-trained assassin sent to discover and recover the missing computer information, referred to as the Intersect. It doesn’t take long before she realizes the Intersect is stored in a nerd’s head and she goes from retriever specialist to the protector of said nerd, Chuck Bartowski.
For five years—91 episodes—we watch Sarah Walker go from a heartless government-trained, cold-blooded killing operative to a caring and loving woman. It’s the pure redemption of Sarah Walker through her relationship to the kind and gentle Chuck Bartowski. Over the course of 89 episodes the writers break her down, transforming her thinking and redeeming her lost uncaring soul into this unpretentious compassionate endearing woman. The transformation that actor Yvonne Strahovski gives Sarah Walker, to me, is truly astounding. Every emotional up and down of this CIA operative is felt with empathy and understanding.
And then, in the final two episodes of the show the creators play a horribly cruel trick on the audience. [Yes, spoiler alert] After spending 5 years watching the salvation and redemption of Sarah Walker take place, they yank it all away from her. An adversary blanks Sarah’s mind and she has no memory of her last 5 years with Chuck thus returning her to the state of the cold-hearted assassin. Why does this play such deep havoc on our emotions as an audience? Because that’s the way we view and discover life to be. When it comes to redemption we want it to be successful and complete. We desire to know there’s hope for the helpless. We want to discover that the energies of transformation are real and successful. However, the best that scriptwriters can give us are tragedies.
There’s good news; God is not that way! He doesn’t promise one thing and yank it away in cruelty. He’s not a scriptwriter working on your story transforming you only to watch you fail at the very end. No, God’s redemption is everlasting and enduring—what He does He does for eternity. So, while we hope for salvation and redemption, God’s Word promises, “that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. There are no CHUCK dilemmas with God. There is only hope for the Sarah Walkers of life.
J. Robert Hanson