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how criminal minds reminds me we need community

this post ran away from me. I’d like to dedicate to the occupants of the text conversations that pepper my inbox daily, people who I sit on couches with and those who I sit across skype screens from. you know who you are. thanks for being my back up.

If you could hack into my Netflix all you would see would be Criminal Minds. I think over the past month I’ve probably watched every episode I hadn’t seen before and I have tagged a few favorites that I’ve maybe watched twice…or three times.

Why Criminal Minds?

Well, for one thing, the BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit) is my favorite TV family. Hands down. It’s hard to describe, none of them are related but they are the most lovely picture of a family. They have each others back, they have community, spencer reid is the bees knees….

I digress.

So because I have been watching all these criminal, gun slinging, FBI, bad guy/good guy type shows it is usually what my mind refers to when in conversation when other people.

Even, when we are talking about Jesus and Satan.

Here’s the revelation that came today.

I was talking to one of my people about not knowing sometimes, when Satan is standing in front of you. And how we feel we should, at this point in our lives, be able to identify what he looks like.

Sometimes it is hard though. Really hard. And then you look back and you beat yourself up a bit for NOT recognizing the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

And today I thought of all the times on TV shows I have watched older agents/officers, take the newbies through the shooting ranges, specifically the ones where you have civilians and bad guys popping out from behind doors. It all happens so fast and you have to shoot the bad guys.

But what if the bad guy was dressed as a good guy?

Mistakes are made in those practice ranges, sometimes a reaction takes down a good guy, or a bad guy is dressed in maintenance uniform and the second it takes to register that he’s a bad guy KAPLOW he gets ya.

But as the officers get more seasoned, as they train more and get in real life scenarios they begin to get better at responding to situations and on the spot profiling someone. Their judgement becomes more attuned because they start to figuring out what small details can automatically give someone away.

But they aren’t perfect. They mess up sometimes.

There is an episode of Criminal Minds where they are dealing with a serial killer that went dormant for years and years. He only left one surviving victim who he stabbed 67 times.

You find out that this man actually stabbed himself 67 times. He was the serial killer.

The FBI met with this man, they interviewed him, they gave him protective detail. AND HE WAS THE KILLER.

Does this mean that they aren’t good at their job? That they aren’t good at what they do?

No, it just means this man was REALLY, REALLY good at what he does.

The devil is REALLY REALLY good at what he does. And sometimes, even with all the training we can miss him.

Sometimes I forget that, and sometimes I forget that I am still young. I haven’t had to go in with my gun and decipher good from bad. I still have to follow someone in, someone older and someone that has better judgement on the occasion.

We are supposed to learn, to notice the signs from someone more trained. And in life those people helps us see our blind spots. They help us figure out what something means in our lives. They help us figure out discernment.

And when the time comes that the training is over the agents never go out alone. They have a partner.

We aren’t supposed to go into things alone. There is a reason Jesus sent people out two by two and there is a reason why FBI agents have back ups. Maybe if I don’t notice the bad guy, the person behind me will.

I can normally distinguish when depression is creeping in when it is just that, depression. But sometimes it comes in forms that it hasn’t before. Because the devil is a trickster and he is going to try to come in the back door to get me. He sometimes dresses in grandma’s clothes and covers his ears. He sometimes is a bad guy dressed as the maintenance man.

I’m not in a place right now to automatically notice that the maintenance man is a bad guy with an AK47, but I’m getting there. I still have moments where I am more prone to fall in a trap then others, but I’m getting better. I’m starting to see the signs of pits I could fall in before I fall in them. Sometimes I get a little scraped up climbing out if I fall a little, but my judgement is getting better.

I’m not a senior agent yet and that’s ok. All the knowledge I have, all the time that I follow behind those who are older and wiser is adding to my profiling skills. I have partners when I go out on the field, and people I can consult with.

I have people who have my back. And who remind me where my blind spots are.

(And that’s really what this about.)

The unsub on these shows want so badly to separate the agents that come to get them. They want to divide them, because they are weaker when they are separate and more easily manipulated and pushed into a corner.

That’s why they are trained not to separate. That’s why we need to have each other’s backs. But sometimes you get pushed in a corner and can’t see what’s what. You feel discombobulated and your mind wanders and you don’t know what to do.

And THAT’S why we have back up.

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