The creature-conversant doctor falls into despair and becomes a scruffy recluse following the loss of his beloved wife. It’s the need of a small animal which brings him out of his darkness. A young teenager brings him an injured squirrel, and the sad doctor is persuaded to operate. His passion wakes him up again and sets him back on track. What ensues is a creature-strewn adventure to save the life of good Queen Vic. And as this eccentric and verbose bunch make their flapping, chest-beating, growling, grunting, squeaking, squawking, chirping, howling, warbling, weird and wisecracking way, various baddies do their dastardly darnedest to try and thwart the mission, and a dragon with gut’s ache almost fries the lot of them.
Like the good doctor here, we all have things we are passionate about. Sport. Fashion. Cooking. Writing. Reading. Building. Fixing things. The list goes on. Gifts that can enrich our world and the world around.
When Jesus’s mates ask him if he needs to eat he says he has ‘food’ that they don’t know about. (John 4 v 32) His ‘food’ in this case is his passion, his purpose, his reason for life. This is not about fish sarnies. But about meaning and sustaining. It seems that Jesus is somehow energised by, and thrives on, engaging with his father’s way of doing things. He had just brought hope and new life into a damaged woman’s life. And it nourishes him. Perhaps it’s a bit like what happens sometimes when we do something good or kind, and feel better as a result. The world was designed to work well in a certain kind of way and Jesus knows this and follows this pattern.
Jesus finds his identity in his Father (have a look at John 13 v 3) and lives to help others. To reach out. To rescue, comfort, strengthen and inspire. The good doctor’s passion for animals resurrects him from despair. Jesus has a passion and it takes him all the way through death and out the other side. He descends into utter darkness and loneliness, experiences absolute despair. But won’t stay down. Resurrection courses through his veins, and the hope for us is that Jesus is driven by his compassion to share that power with us. His kindness overcomes cruelty.