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Dr Foster & the Game of Hide and Seek


There was this moment in the TV series “Dr Foster” that caught my attention. It mostly caught my attention because that same scene was played on Gogglebox so that we could see the reactions of some of the people watching. And I found it interesting to see how people reacted to this.

If you haven’t been following it, let me quickly fill you in (which contains a spoiler!)…

The two main characters are husband and wife. The wife (Dr Foster) suspects her husband is cheating on her and over time we see the evidence that this is true.

Then there is this moment where Dr Foster is sitting at the table and she confronts her husband about his affair. And there is a pause as she is waits for a response.

This is the moment where the audience holds their breath. And the Gogglebox audience start to whisper “Tell the truth”… “just be honest”…

I felt it too. I wanted him to just tell the truth, tell her what she already knows. We could feel our hearts beat louder in our chests as she says to him “I still love you”… It was an opportunity for him to come out of hiding and be honest.

But he doesn’t. Instead he denies it. And our hearts, including Dr Fosters, sink.

It was this moment that felt like a Genesis 3 moment.

It felt like a twisted game of hide and seek in Eden.

And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:8-9 ESV)

At first Adam and Eve hide. They hide from the Lord who has been good to them, who walks in the Garden to be with them.

Then the Lord calls out to them “Where are you?adam-and-eve-hiding

It’s at this moment of hiding, of covering their shame with fig leaves that came to mind when watching Dr Foster. The husband was acting like Adam and Eve, hiding behind fig leaves and in between trees. But as the episodes go on we see the fig leaves begin to strangle him.

It is easy to watch this and shout “tell the truth… stop hiding… stop being so Adam“… But I can’t help think how easy it is to hide. All of us have things in the shadows, shame we try to cover up, hoping no one will see us.

But the Lord asks “Where are you?” 

Where are you in your hiding? Where are you in the shadows?

Wherever you are, the Lord seeks you out. And there is an echo of what Dr Foster says which I think Jesus says too:

I still love you. In your mess, in your shame, in your guilt.

The good news is that Jesus can truly offer forgiveness which means you never need to hide again. That every mistake you make and every slip up can be brought to the cross and be dealt with. Jesus offers true freedom.

And judging by the reactions to this moment in Dr Foster, I think that’s what we all seek. We want the husband to come out of hiding, to be free from guilt and shame and to be loved despite it all. Perhaps because we see something of ourselves in the husband. And we want Dr Foster to have the truth and reconciliation she desires.

Yet that didn’t happen, the husband has so far decided to stay hidden away. Our hearts ache at this. More games of hide and seek are to be played.

But what about you and me?

What do we do when the Lord asks “Where are you?”

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