Perhaps the most significant thing that we have known all along but were reminded of forcefully in “The Girl Who Waited” is this: the Doctor is not infallible. It is not a given that he will make everything right by the end of the episode or the end of the season or the final episode of Doctor Who ever. Indeed, in some situations there is no way to “make things right.” If older Amy continued to exist, scarred by being stranded on her own for 36 years, that would have still been a less than perfect outcome. That older Amy ceased to exist is a less than perfect outcome. There are Kobayashi Maru situations in real life. Sometimes there are no winners.
Today’s sermon at church was the climax of the ten plagues of the Exodus story: the Passover and the death of the firstborn. In that story too we get the impression that we are dealing with the strongest of gods – but not one that is infinitely strong, nor infinitely wise – doing the best that he can to get his people out of slavery. Just teleporting them to a new location doesn’t seem to be an option. And so the deity of the Exodus must resort to inflicting tragedy on every single family in Egypt – presumably even the families of the midwives who had helped save Hebrew infants, not to mention other slaves who were victims of Egyptian injustice rather than its perpetrators.
There comes a time when we mature to adulthood and realize that our parents are imperfect and fallible. Might it be the case that coming to a mature faith involves recognizing that the image of God that we have, and which we think depicts an almighty, omnipotent, perfect and benevolent one, likewise has shortcomings?