Would you pray for Joe Miller?

Posted: 13 May 2013 in Prisons, Understanding Others
Tags: , ,

thCA7GQB10Were you spot the right murderer on Broadchurch? Or were you shocked? Would you be beginning to pray for the perpetrator, Joe Miller, and for his wife and son now? Or does the prison ministry part of the brain get switched off when the TV is switched on?

It should be kept on for low key crime dramas like Broadchurch. These are not psychopath led like Silence of the Lambs, nor high concept revenge dramas like The Bridge or The Killing. Broadchurch people volunteer for Prison Fellowship. And it seems that some get visited by Prison Fellowship volunteers too.

The betting shops took odds on who was the murderer. In the end, we discovered Joe Miller did it, and saw a second wave of grief sweep over the community. It might have been fiction but it well illustrated the impact of the murder so well. Ripple effect? More a tidal wave.

The tidal wave uncovers a lot of other things too – the newsagent with a criminal record for a sexual offense, the woman whose husband was a notorious offender from years past, the adulterer father, the aggressive plumbers mate, the vicar who attends AA, etc. While this was for dramatic purposes, haven’t many of us been similarly marked too? That crime – it disturbs our old wounds. That crime – we might have done it.

In the last episode we don’t get an adrenaline rush of a car chase or mad scramble over the cliffs, but a mix of some closure together with a sense of renewed tragedy for the family of the victim and for the family of the perpetrator. Indeed, this is more like the reality we know as volunteers. The drama ends, but Prison Fellowship’s work begins. Praying for, and visiting, the likes of Joe Miller.

A version of this posting is appearing in the June edition of Prison Fellowship’s VOICES.

  1. warmginger says:

    It was an unsettling end to the drama for sure and I did feel for Joe. He seemed lost, not evil. Although your post has really made me think abut how easily I switched off the telly and switched off Joe.

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