This is Us

Written by: D’Anne Mullin

I have been swept away, like the many millions of fellow viewers, by the television show “This is Us” on NBC.  Now in its second season, I have relished every emotion packed episode and each week I count down the days until its next true-to-life installment.  In my opinion, it is one of the most relatable drama series to be released on air, giving a very accurate look at family life in all of its beautiful dysfunction.

The interplay between characters, with an intricate look at their lives past, present and future, is masterfully portrayed through incredible writing, directing and acting.  The fairy-tale premise on which the story is based, is one that so many fans dream for; a young couple falling in love, entering in to a completely devoted marriage and raising three great children successfully.  However, the twists and turns these lives take along their journey together are never short on surprise and often represent our deepest family fears or experiences.  The show’s appeal is in this very juxtaposition of themes; fairy-tale meets reality.

“This is Us” is simply incredible television, with shares in Kleenex; of that I am sure!

Without creating any spoilers for those yet to watch, I would like to draw attention to one character in particular.  The family patriarch, Jack Pearson.  He is truly an all-around good guy!  A thoughtful, selfless, gentleman, wholly committed to his wife and hopelessly romantic.  An involved father who lovingly speaks words of guidance into his children’s lives, having great fun along the way.  A loyal friend and brother, willing to stick up for those he loves.  A hard worker, full of integrity in the workplace and handy around the house.  Jack is always optimistic amidst adversity, is exceedingly sacrificial and always has good to say.

I keep waiting for his character to falter and reveal a drastic flaw, but I have yet to see this!

What I find most interesting about Jack is that every other character connected to him, both in his family and outside, look to him as their “saviour.”  Jack will know what to do.  Jack will fix what is wrong.  Jack will make better what is at odds.  Jack will speak what others cannot.  Sure, he has his challenges, but despite those he is always smiling with a witty joke to lighten the mood!

His very presence brightens the room picking up the spirits of others.  His very absence cripples the ability of others to carry on.

When I reflect on this observation, I realize that in our humanity we are all searching for a “saviour.”  Just like the characters in this drama, we often look to other people to save us from life’s perils.  This is due to the finite nature of our minds and that we are tangibly driven.  Naturally we do not look to the Lord for our salvation.  It takes wilful action on our part to place our trust in Jesus, our one true Saviour.  Jeremiah 15:5-12 (NLT) says this,

“This is what the Lord says: ‘Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord. 

They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future.  They live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land.

But, blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.

They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. 

Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought.

Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.’”

Daughters, let “This be Us.”  That we would be trees planted by the streams of living water, Christ Himself, rooted deep in His love and provision, producing the fruit of the Spirit despite adversity, giving glory to His name in all circumstances, thus, making Jesus famous to all we interact with.  Amen!