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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

"The Husbands of River Song" (a guest post by Joe Vanderstelt)

SPOILERS! (seriously I'm just saying that because it's Doctor Who) 

First a little history, River Song is a thief with patience or an archaeologist. Her and The Doctor both travel through time and space mostly in different directions. They are married but that's complicated because they don't follow the same path through time. You might need a flowchart.
The episode revolves around River Song not recognizing the The Doctor. You see River rightly believes that The Doctor can only have 12 regenerations, but "a thing" happened and he has regenerated past 12. She is unaware of the 13th (current) Doctor, she is looking for one the past 12. Even though she gives him the nickname "The Damsil", she is looking for help from him and cannot find it. She cannot see what is literally right in front of her, right next to her in her time of need, but I'll get to that. 

First let's talk about two men. Two walking down a road when another man joined them, the two men also didn't recognize who he was. At one point River was to wrapped up with what she was doing, including getting drinks to failed to see the obvious. We give her a little break, The Doctor does keep changing appearances, and the man who joined the two men we are told also changed appearances. So I think we need to give them a little break.
The two men were followers of Jesus, on their way to Emmaus, shortly after Jesus was crucified. It was Jesus that joined and for whatever reason they were "kept from recognizing him." River was kept from recognizing The Doctor because she believed The Doctor could only regenerate 12 times. Maybe, like River, they were to caught up in them selves or limited by their own understanding. 
Jesus was a popular name back then, just as “Doctor” can refer to many professions. I wonder during the conversation were the two men on the road like “wow Jesus, you really get it” to the man that joined them.

After displaying some knowledge of the inner workings of TARDIS (The Doctor's ship) River says “you are good” and The Doctor responding with “yes for a Doctor.” I can just see Jesus saying “Yes I do understand what you are telling about Jesus”. On and on the conversations go till, like The Doctor, they get to a point where he says something like "Seriously?" with a look of utter amazement that they are getting seeing who is with them. 

The Doctor, while river doesn't recognize him, goes though some interesting stages. First we see his response to her being married to someone else, Hydroflax. It's not exactly as simple as that, you might need a bigger flow chart. Then the interesting parts come. River is not just talking about, she is going to murder Hydroflax for a jewel he has in his head and is asking The Doctor for help. Seeing River in a way he might not approve of The Doctor ask "Is this what your like when I'm not...?" and them they are discovered. River reveals she is doing it because Hydroflax is evil and she will do anything to stop him. How would God see if God were with us right now? Would he see you or me as the murderous selfish type or the type that would do anything to stop evil?
After some Dr Who type fun we find The Doctor and River laying in the snow being threatened by Hydroflax's live head in a gym bag. Yes it sounds ridiculous, it is. That's why we find The Doctor and River laughing. I would like to think that if Jesus was with us he would spend time like this, laughing at the silly things and enjoying the relationships. "I can't approve of any of this, but I haven't laughed in a really long time" – The Doctor  

I'm going skip past the parallels of River telling The Doctor, not knowing it is him, that she is going to steal the TARDIS and The Doctor saying "He'll know" and God knowing everything. 

What would it be like having an honest conversation with God not knowing it has him? When the The Doctor sees River reading from the diary he gave her, notices she is sad, and asks about it. She responds with "the man who gave this to me is the type of man who would know exactly how long of a diary you would need." Seeing the sadness The Doctor responds with "He sounds awful". Then River proceeds to tell the The Doctor, the man she loves, that he is nobody special. Have you ever had those thoughts creep into your mind or said them? That Jesus/God is no one special? How would it feel if someone you loved said that about you? 

In crescendo of the episode we find River and The Doctor in some danger from some followers of Hydroflax. The Doctor so far has done everything he can to help, save, and protect River and she has still does not see that it is him. The followers are going to use River as bait for The Doctor, claiming "Your the woman he loves". The Doctor is actually standing right next to her at this point in time. Rivers responds truthfully "the doctor does not and has never loved me." "You are the woman who loves the doctor" someone claims. Did you catch that? the change in direction. "Yes I am, I've never denied it." You ever feel like River that your love is one directional? Or that God doesn't care?

"When you love the Doctor, it's like loving the stars themselves. You don't expect a sunset to admire you back. And if I happen to find myself in danger, let me tell you, the Doctor is not stupid enough, or sentimental enough, and he is certainly not in love enough to find himself standing in it with me!" - River 

Then sometimes all it takes is a few words. 
"Hello, sweetie." - The Doctor 

A lot of people talk about footprints in the sand. That's not what this is, and doesn't seem to be how God operates most of the time. It's not God carrying us through troubled times, it's God in the person next to us helping us. Standing there beside us in our times of need, when we do things he can't approve of. God's always with us how have you been "kept from recognizing him."?
Written by Joe Vanderstelt, a gamer, capable tech geek, and Whovian who is following Jesus.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad I took the time to read this. I love how you have tied the two themes together. I'm just reflecting on some of the times God has called me (leadings) and I've missed it. There is no way I can recognize all of these times, but I recognize enough of them to know that I fail miserably. But I have heard and responded to his leadings, and it is remarkable. I'm reminded to look for Him in everything - every day. Thanks for sharing - even though I know nothing about the River Song - I've been blessed by it!