09 August 2011

Pride & the Apocalypse: Are Zombies Better than the Living?

"Night Life" - Photo by Matt Wynne
When I am in school from September through halfway into June, homework sometimes (fairly often, actually) takes over my night life.  This leaves very little time for television.  When shows that we're intrigued with are on, they're usually recorded and saved for later.  The summer is "later" for me, and my husband and I are catching up on the AMC series The Walking Dead.  We're taking it one episode at a time and allowing each one to percolate a bit and fuel our evening banter and creativity. 

Before I went on vacation, we watched as violence and racism ripped through a small group struggling for survival in the zombie apocalypse.  Tonight's episode brought issues of seduction, infidelity and domestic violence to the table.  I'm sure more heavy topics are in store as we continue season one from last fall.  We find that we need to debrief after each episode.  Our conversation this evening centered around whether we would rather battle zombies or live with the chaos, violence and infighting found in societies around the world today.  You might be able to guess where this post is going from here.

I like zombies more than the living sometimes.  One thing that zombie flicks, books and graphic novels often highlight is the brokenness, pain and suffering often found in human relationships.  The struggle and insanity are there long before the zombie outbreak, and the apocalyptic conditions don't seem to make an ounce of difference in healing or worsening the situation.  People's pride runs deep and prejudice rears its ugly head no matter what.

Part of what attracts me to zombies is their simplicity.  Zombies feed on instinct.  All they know is that they're hungry.  No hatred, grudges, blood feuds or discrimination taints their perception of reality.  Zombies don't hunt other zombies, and they work well in groups.  In many ways I would rather face a zombie hoard than many of my fellow human beings alive today.

I wonder if that is why zombie walks are so popular...


Heavenly Father,

I think Jesus' words from the cross were right.  We really don't know what we're doing.  Zombies, vampires, ghosts and werewolves are all part of our creative realm to help us deal with the realities around us.  These beings aren't the real monsters though, we are.

Forgive us, Father, for the terrible ways we treat each other.  Break through barriers of prejudice, stereotypes and all kinds of hatred.  Your heart breaks when any one of Your creatures or peoples are treated without dignity and love.  Heal Your world, Lord, and give us the courage to join You in this endeavor.  Help us, Holy Spirit.  Breathe into us and fill us all with the grace and love of God.  

In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

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