Recently, the TV show “The Office”aired its last episode. For the uninitiated the show is a “mockumentary”(filmed and acted as if it were a documentary) about a paper company office in Scranton. Love it, hate it, oblivious? It doesn’t matter, like most shows, it strikes a chord (or a funny bone) with some but not others, and that’s ok. I’m not here to say you need to watch all the seasons, or even a certain episode. But I am going to share with you simply how impressed I was with the conclusions and tie-ups that this weekly prime time comedy arrived at for its final episodes. As a “Friend” of mine (Facebook) said, “The Office series finale was sentimental tacky crap and yes, I cried almost a dozen times.”
I would say that what was most impacting was, in a word, “reality”. That word gets thrown around and for the most part horribly misused by most of today’s TV, and for the majority of this show the “realities” of daily life at the office could never actually happen. But this season made me feel the realness of the relationships between characters, primarily focussing on the headline couple, Jim and Pam. They’ve been one of TV’s favorite couples for years now, owing greatly to certain fairy tale-esque aspects of their story, filled with grand romantic gestures. And it would have been easy to end the series on that note and have their star couple fade into the sunset together. But instead the writers chose to insert some drama, miscommunication, selfishness, heartache, tears….. reality.
This couple had the model marriage that many people would say is their own goal to have. But suddenly the fairy tale faded and the stage was set for a tragic but justified separation. However, contrary to the sad statistics of marriage, Jim and Pam were willing to face one another, their fears, even the pain they may have caused, all for the sake of one another. But how is this reality if they are going against what culture tends to do? What could have motivated such love and selflessness? The answer comes in episode 20 of season 9, in a climax that has their marriage on a knives edge, and with a single action could either reach the breaking point, or start the journey of recovery. In an emotionally charged scene Jim clutches Pam in a hug and something seems to change for both of them. The scene fades back to their wedding day, and the pastor is reading the familiar passage in I Cor. 13.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
It is so simple, and yet all too easy to forget; to get caught up in ourselves and our own ambitions. Love is such a powerful thing, if only we can remember what it means. And it is made all the more powerful when we are able to catch a glimpse of God’s love for us. What an ultimate example of a fractured relationship that is reconciled through His perfect and astounding love.
I was surprised and delighted to get a picture of this truth through mainstream media, and as my wife said, “this could preach”. And I am inclined to agree.