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The hint of angels’ wings

News St Martin – Talking Points

Sunday 26 January 2014

In the TV series ‘The Jury’, the lives of the 12 jurors become intertwined in fascinating and unexpected ways.

One of them, Tahir, is a Sudanese refugee, who fled after the violent rampage of his village by rebels. He is given asylum in the UK and his brother goes to the USA. Tahir longs to join his brother and spends 5 years jumping hurdles to get into the USA.

By dint of being here 5 years, Tahir is summoned for jury service. As the story unfolds, the luminosity of Tahir’s spirit and his integrity as a Juror shine through. In his multiple-occupancy London hostel, friends from all over the world wait with baited breath for the Embassy verdict – will Tahir get to the USA or not? As he returns with a resounding ‘Yes’ his companions, each doubtless with complex stories of their own, rejoice with unfettered joy as Tahir’s dream comes true.

Then the twist. Tahir’s juror friend gets a limousine to take Tahir to the airport. He is driven past Buckingham Palace and other iconic London sights. At Heathrow, Tahir changes his mind and is seen 9 months later at a UK Citizenship ceremony being supported by his Juror friends.

Why? What happened to Tahir. Is his experience similar to the hint of Angel’s wings experienced by Mary at the Annunciation? Fixed on one path, he is overtaken by circumstances, and sees in the unexpected his destiny and his joy. God is like that. Those helping the homeless in our International Group find that friendship and joy emerge in surprising and unexpected places, among the homeless and those who seem to be on the edge fluttering across human boundaries. Angels’ wings indeed.

Revd David Jackson