I am a fan of the “Walking Dead” television series. Contrary to its title and its context of an apocalyptic, zombie infested world, it is one of the most human shows I’ve seen. Ironically the zombies no longer freak me out. At first I watched in anxious fear of one of them coming out of nowhere, or a band of them overwhelming the camp of survivors. Now I am more afraid of the human survivor’s attempts to secure themselves emotionally and physically. They are barely alive as they often make cruel decisions and assessments of themselves under the pressure of death. They are forced to live in a stripped down bare humanity with each other. Beauty, joy, and peace are coincidental and often accidental. Life as a non-zombie is the only luxury. Each week now, I am more and more afraid of which way they will handle their lives and the lives of others around them. Will the weakest be destroyed or protected? Will they become nihilistic- having lost hope in anything worth living for and walk recklessly and carelessly to their death? Will their hearts become zombie-fied?
My fear for them is the fear for all humans. Even in a world devoid of zombies, we live in a place filled with the deadly but living consequences of broken relationships and bad choices. It is easy to believe that sooner or later death and heart stopping disappointment will run into you or you into it. It is right around the corner. It is under the bed and in the closet. Our choices, hopes, and hearts in light of death and disappointment are our greatest active threat. We will be tempted to bury or cyni-cize beauty, love, peace, hope, and joy. And when we do that we dig our and others graves. We strip our dignity and cause ourselves agony and terror.
In the television series there is a theme of journey, as the survivors seek a cure and a place of safety to be found somewhere around the next turn, or city, or state. We, with them know it is just a dream. Chances appear more and more each season that they will probably die on their journey and search.
Our hope in this world too, is not in the journey, but in being found- in being met, invaded, visited, sought, flooded with joy, peace, beauty, redemption, and love. The Lord Jesus journeyed into our world of death and our attempts to find love and has found and loved us. He is our only hope. There is no cure, or place, or maneuver, or survival mode outside of him for us in this world of fear.
"For the Son of Man [Jesus] came to seek and to save the lost" Luke 19:10.