Becoming a zombie by fighting the zombies…

Last time, I opened with some general thoughts about zombie-stories in general. I think one of the things that zombies stories do is describe our fears.
Some of the fears are about growing up and becoming part of the system. The world outside is a place where there are no souls, where we will be eaten alive.
Some of the fears are about the idea that none of us have souls at all. The “survivors” can delude themselves for a while, but sooner or later it becomes clear: it’s not so much a transformation into zombie hood, it is a peeling off of masks (or perhaps layers of skin) to accept the hard truth: we are nothing but greed and hunger.
Some of the fears are that in such a world, there is no possible room for a loving God.

The show “Walking Dead” puts a sort-of spin on these over-arching themes.
Perhaps most directly with the protagonist, Rick. When much of the world was busy dying and turning into zombies, Rick was dying to. His best friend even reported him dead. But he came back from the dead, in a way like the zombies themselves. But he came back in control of himself. He demonstrates frequently on the show that he is capeable of nearly super-human feats of leadership and courage. I wonder if I am reaching when I suggest that he is perhaps a Jesus-figure, who experienced a Jesus-resseruction.
This is not to say that Rick is morally perfect. In fact, looking deeply at the show leads to the conclusion that there are, in facts, many ways to fight off being a zombie.
When the physical and literal battle is won, even when the bites are dodged, When the zombie skulls are smashed, this is where the real questions begin.
How will they survive? Who will survive?
There is an interesting dichotomy. The more they ensure that they won’t literally become zombies, the more they become symbolic zombies. Frequently, the humans are required to make very difficult decisions. Will they help or trust others, putting their own selves at risk?
The choice not to help and trust, on a literal and physical level, reduces the likelihood of becoming zombies. But on a spiritual, symbolic level, every time they make these choices, they are acting like the zombies they are so afraid of becoming.
There are lots of specifics… but I am running long here. So I think I am going to end here and hope for some insightful comments.


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The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

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