‘The A Word’ (BBC) continues to prove compelling viewing, hard viewing, as brutal as the Cumbrian fells against which the drama is set. You really do have to watch very attentively to find anything likeable about Morven Christie’s character, Alison. But all the characters are bruised and hurting.
Mid-way through the Gospel According to Matthew, the narrator draws on the words of the prophet Isaiah to describe Jesus’ manner of relating to those he encounters:
“He will not break a bruised reed…” (Matthew 12:20)
A bruised reed is a crushed and fragile thing. But it is also precious; bruised reeds were used as writing implements. And so this is a play on words:
those who are bruised and hurting are those whose stories need to be told.
There are so many bruised and hurting people, in need of a compassionate narrator. Some of whom are unreasonable, ungrateful, deeply unlikeable, or downright hostile.