I really resonated with this scene in the season finale of Leverage (which is actually one of the shows I watch that did not recently get cancelled), a series about a group of con artists who use their skills to right wrongs perpetrated by unjust corporations and individuals. The crew split up some time before due to a failed con (due in part to the personal flaws of some of their own members). Interestingly, they soon all run into each other running their own individual reconnaissance on the same location (a facility of the man who was responsible for the death of Nate’s son). Even though they bicker, it’s easy to see that they all really want to work together again. And Nate’s observation above gets at part of the reason they miss each other: they each bring gifts to the table which enable them to change the world for the better in a much greater way then they could individually.
In “The Second David Job,” Nathan Ford’s crew—a group of former criminal type folks who now use their skills to get some measure of justice for those who have suffered at the hands of the unjust—is having problems figuring out how to get into a secured location. When Nate points out a way they overlooked, the crew looks at each other amazed that they didn’t see it before.
Eliot Spencer: How’d we miss that?
Nathan: Grifter, hitter, hacker, thief—you were all trying to solve your version of the crime instead of just solve the crime. There’s a reason we work together.
I can’t help but think about this as an image that echoes how it works in the kingdom. Like the members of Nate’s crew, we are all broken and flawed, with gifts that we all too often use for our own profit or desire—an endeavor which often ends up not only leading us down a path towards pain, suffering and destruction but also inflicts the same on those around us. But when we hear and enter into the good news that Jesus has lived and died to reconnect us to God, giving us his Spirit to live within and bring new life into us, we also discover we are saved into a community of others like ourselves. And this community has a mission that is burned into us as deeply as that new life—to love God and love others, a call to walk and work with God as he restores, redeems and loves this world and its people.
It’s easy to continue to look at the world and people around us from our individual experience and perspective. But when we remember that we were made to walk and work together, when we turn and enter into the community we were saved into, we benefit from the experience and wisdom and life of the Spirit that lives in others as it does in us. Our perspective and ability to see the world grows and deepens. Together, as the body and the people of God, we are enabled to work with God as his people in changing the world for the better in a far greater way than we ever could individually.
One of the other aspects of Leverage with which I resonate is how each member of Nate’s crew (including Nate himself) has become a better person not only because of their mission together but also because of their relationships with each other. I think this is a reflection of another part of our creation. We are meant to work and walk together, and when we walk rightly with him and with each other, God uses that to help us become the people he always intended and created us to be. And, like Nate’s crew, we find a home with each other in a way we couldn't find in the world before.
I like how this scene gets at part the part of what it means to walk to God in which we are saved into a community of his people where we can live out best that part of our creation in which we are made to walk and work together. And I, for one, am glad this series will be around for another season (which begins July 15, by the way).
(Image: TNT) leveragectgy