Observation and Knowledge

The two most recent shows that I’ve been Netflixing (can I make that into a verb? Tough tater tots, I did it anyway.) are Psych and Sherlock. They are essentially the same show, but one is set in Santa Barbara and incredibly light-hearted and the other is set in London and incredibly dark and pretty twisted. Also, the latter is almost a word-for-word modern adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes while the former has a hyper-observant cool guy who calls himself a psychic detective with his partner of many nicknames. What I love about these shows is how much Shawn and Sherlock know about a person just by looking at them.

Sherlock Holmes: When I met you for the first time yesterday, I said “Afghanistan or Iraq?” You looked surprised.
John Watson: Yes. How did you know?
Sherlock Holmes: I didn’t know, I saw. [flashback begins] Your haircut, the way you hold yourself, says military. But your conversation as you entered the room — said trained at Bart’s, so army doctor. Obvious. Your face is tanned, but no tan above the wrists — you’ve been abroad but not sunbathing. The limp’s really bad when you walk, but you don’t ask for a chair when you stand, like you’ve forgotten about it, so it’s at least partly psychosomatic. That says the original circumstances of the injury were probably traumatic — wounded in action, then. Wounded in action, suntan — Afghanistan or Iraq.
John Watson: You said I had a therapist.
Sherlock Holmes: You’ve got a psychosomatic limp. Of course you’ve got a therapist. Then there’s your brother. Your phone — it’s expensive, email enabled, MP3 player. But you’re looking for a flat-share, you wouldn’t waste money on this. It’s a gift, then. Scratches — not one, many over time. It’s been in the same pocket as keys and coins. The man sitting next to me wouldn’t treat his one luxury item like this, so it’s had a previous owner. The next bit’s easy, you know it already. [We see a closeup of the back of the phone, which has been engraved “Harry Watson — from Clara xxx”]
John Watson: The engraving?
Sherlock Holmes: Harry Watson — clearly a family member who’s given you his old phone. Not your father — this is a young man’s gadget. Could be a cousin, but you’re a war hero who can’t find a place to live. Unlikely you’ve got an extended family, certainly not one you’re close to, so brother it is. Now, Clara — who’s Clara? Three kisses says a romantic attachment. Expensive phone says wife, not girlfriend. Must’ve given it to him recently — this model’s only six months old. Marriage in trouble, then — six months on, and already he’s giving it away? If she’d left him, he would’ve kept it. People do, sentiment. But no, he wanted rid of it — he left her. He gave the phone to you, that says he wants you to stay in touch. [beat.] You’re looking for cheap accommodation and you’re not going to your brother for help? That says you’ve got problems with him. Maybe you liked his wife, maybe you don’t like his drinking.
John Watson: How can you possibly know about the drinking?
Sherlock Holmes: Shot in the dark. Good one, though. Power connection — tiny little scuff marks around the edge. Every night he goes to plug it in and charge but his hands are shaky. You never see those marks on a sober man’s phone, never see a drunk’s without them. There you go, you see?

It’s brilliant how their minds work. It’s too bad they’re fictional. There is someone who isn’t fictional whose mind works in an even greater way.

Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”

Jesus knew everything about this woman, much like Sherlock knew so much about Watson, but there’s one big difference: Jesus didn’t have to deduct anything; he just knew. Jesus is God and God knows all of His children well. He has numbered the hairs on our heads (Matthew 10:30). He knows what we’re going to do before we do it and what we’re going to say before we say it (Psalm 139:1-4). He knows absolutely everything about you and He still loves you more than you could ever imagine.

Advertisements