What is the obsession with vampires these days? And werewolves, and aliens, and super heroes?
I went to a movie with my best friend last week, and more than half of the previews featured immortal beings in one form or another.
I am perplexed.
Why is a love story more potent and intriguing and heart wrenching when the couple in love can't eat or sleep or age?
Why are the green slimy guys who come down to invade earth so much cooler and smarter and appealing than the ones they are invading?
Why are werewolves more convincing protectors than friends who can't shape shift?
Why are the mutants and the superheroes so much braver than the rest of the cast in the movie?
Why in the world is Abraham Lincoln cooler when he is a vampire hunter?
What is the fascination?
I know its possible to look past the extraordinarily overstretched fantasies of movies these days and just enjoy a good story. I'm not knocking the pleasure of getting lost in an appealing tale.
I'm just saying, why is this particular material SOOOOO prevalent these days?
What is it in us that is so drawn to the story of the mighty warrior, who can't be with the one he loves because they are from two different worlds, but still he loves her?
Or the alien who is so compassionate for the ones he is supposed to be better than, that he helps them instead of hurting them?
Or the superhero willing to give his own life to protect others, simply because he has the power to do so?
Or the loner who wants so much to belong that she gives up everything she's ever known and puts herself in terrible danger, simply for the chance to be loved, and accepted, and known.
Hmm...take out the words alien, and superhero, and warrior, and we may be onto something here.
I want to be loved, no matter the sacrifice, no matter the pain. I want to be known. I want to be protected. I want to be helped instead of hurt. I want to be accepted.
We all do. Everyone wants those things.
They are built into us. The desire to be fully known, and fully accepted, and totally protected, and altogether, unconditionally loved...they are part of what makes us who we are.
Our Maker made us to seek them.
Because He can fulfill them.
He HAS fulfilled them.
He loved us so much that He gave up His rights, and stooped down to our level, to give us a glimpse of Himself. And the glimpse was the proof. He is able to protect us, and He knows us, and He loves us.
He sacrificed Himself for us. And His flesh was pierced, and blood drained from His body, and His body became cold, and His love for us destroyed every notion we could ever have had about what love really is.
But then His heart began to beat again. And He came out of His tomb, and WE began to live.
This story is so much better than a vampire movie. It has all the same draws: flesh is pierced, and blood is drained, and an innocent person is killed. Love is seen in the sacrifice of One for another. Protection and power are witnessed and experienced. Compassion is the central theme.
But this story is better, on every single level. Not because we get to be immortal, but because we get to be free of the fear of mortality. We don't have to fear losing what and who we love, because HE is who we love. And He DID die...but only long enough to defeat death forever.
Edward and Jakob can't say that, can they? Neither can Superman, or Wolverine. They are not invincible. They are not perfect. They are not immortal. They have flaws, weaknesses, and fears.
We watch movies and read books, searching for the overwhelming feeling of belonging, of courage, of love, that is displayed in the characters. The unbelievable things draw us in, and capture our interest, for a very simple reason.
We want to believe that superheroes exist. We want to feel that its possible to be yearned for, to be fought for, to be taken care of, to be known, no matter how impossible the dream of those things may be.
We want to hear that someone would willingly sacrifice themselves for us.
But Someone already has.
And He's tougher than Superman, and heals better than Wolverine, and is a more tenacious protector than Jakob, and loves more fiercely than Edward, and when His blood drained out...
That is when His power was at its most potent. His mortality was His greatest weapon against our mortality.
And His love for us was so strong that it wouldn't let Him stay in the grave. Because His death secured the possibility for us to be cleansed, but His LIFE lives in us every day.
So watch the movies about the vampires and werewolves and superheroes and aliens. By all means, enjoy the cinematic world. I plan to.
But don't forget...they don't hold a candle to the real thing.
And when the Twilight in my life comes...I will look into the eyes of the One who knows me, and I will see His love, and feel the warmth of His touch, and hear Him speak to me as only He can, and I will know I am protected, and that I was fought for, and that the price was steep, but He considered me worth it.
I have value in the eyes of the True One who makes all the others seem like empty frauds.
That is what we are longing to find in our fascination with the immortal.
Is there Someone out there who finds us worth sacrificing His immortality for?
And its even better than our impossible dreams...because...
Twilight is only the beginning.