When the sheriff (Travis) comes to take him away to the state prison, the cell door is open and the man is gone.
Later, in what Christians may find to be the most thrilling part of the drama, Monica learns that the one she has been ministering to is no less than Jesus Himself. His name isn't used, but when she bows to Him it is obvious to whom she is speaking.
Just in case you miss the point, there is this exchange between Monica and the Jesus figure known in the show as "Zack":
Monica: "Why didn't I recognize you?"
Zack: "Because you would have done anything for me, but look what you did for a stranger."
Monica: "Forgive me for not recognizing you."
Zack: "There are few who do. Greater love hath no person than to lay down his life for a stranger. Well done, good and faithful servant."
Needless to say, Monica gets her "promotion."
I'm not sure we will ever see a show like this again. The network hostility toward religion, the quest for high ratings and the pandering to the 18-49-year-old demographic might prevent a nervous broadcast executive from backing a show with a similar theme (and kudos to CBS President Les Moonves for supporting this one over the years). But in "fly-over country" the people responded to TBAA and made it a hit.
Few shows last nine seasons. The good messages in this show literally stopped suicides and put lives and marriages back together. The show has the fan mail to prove it.
TBAA has been a miracle from the start. Its "touch" will not only continue in reruns, but in the hearts of many who have been affected by its principal and unchanging message: "God loves you."
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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