Teenage vampire romance. Gets. me. every. time.
Yep, there it is. Mock on.
Shortly after we were married, Emmett was in graduate school and I was in my first year of teaching. I would come home so brain dead that Emmett would find me lying on the couch watching hours of Buffy the Vampire Slayer reruns. Hours. I'm pretty sure Emmett thought he was in one of those TV specials where the person you marry turns out to have another spouse or be a psycho killer or have a sixth toe. I remember him just staring at me one day like I had three heads and asking, "where did this come from?" But I won him over. It wasn't long before he was watching them with me, although he always reserved the right to mock me for my guilty pleasure, which I graciously allowed him to do. But before you mock, you have to at least admit that all those other silly shows (like Glee and American Idol, etc) and sports (gasp - yes, even sports) are at least as much a pointless waste of time as my own guilty pleasure. Then, when you can embrace your own ridiculousness, you are free to mock me as much as you'd like. Until then - shut. up.
My guilty pleasure has been coming and going for a couple decades, lying dormant for years, and then popping up unexpectedly again. So the other night when I had nearly a dozen or so loads of laundry to fold (don't judge - you know you put it off, too), I was perusing Netflix, which incidentally has quite possibly the lamest streaming options ever, when I came across a TV series that shall remain nameless. I've been watching it off and on as I do laundry or work out, and in between laughing at myself, I've tried to figure out why I like it so much.
Now is when you insert the eye roll because I'm about to get spiritually inspired by teenage vampire romance. Yeah, you just read that line for real, but don't think that what follows in any way justifies this kind of trashy television. It's trashy and will remain so, but I love it and most likely will continue to do so.
So here is the basic formula for teenage vampire romance. This basic plot line has not deviated at all from when I started reading smutty vampire books at the age of 12 (way before Twilight, by the way). Vampire boy meets human girl (oddly, never the other way around). Boy wants to kill girl and drink her blood. Boy tries very hard not to kill girl and drink her blood. Emotional and physical turmoil ensues. Inconsequential characters die and somehow no one is really concerned. Girl must either die or become a vampire, and we all know what usually happens. It's very much like a modern sleeping beauty in a way.
I began to realize that it was all the moody vampire brooding over trying not to kill people that resonated with my soul. Yeah, I'm probably a closet Emo. Move on. I find that I am drawn to this archetype when I'm feeling unusually besieged by sin and constantly aware of my struggle to resist my sinful nature.
Because, truthfully, when I sin I am killing other people. Jesus said in Matthew 24:12 that "because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold." As I struggle deeply with sins of the heart, I am realizing that I am completely unaware of how each decision I make to follow Christ or not unknowingly pushes others a little closer or a little further from Christ. That scares me. Not that I claim any guilt or responsibility for another person's decisions, as we will each stand before Christ for our own choices, but I often neglect or ignore the influence of the Spirit at work in me, to my own shame and disgrace.
I came across the word besieged in Lamentations 3 this morning, and it bounced around my soul a while before taking root. My soul feels something spiritually akin to what the starving people of Jerusalem must have physically felt when they were being besieged by the Babylonians in Jeremiah's time. I do not claim to have experienced anything even remotely as intense as Jeremiah, but I feel the flaming arrows of sin and temptation coming at me swift and straight most days. Temptation is aimed with uncanny knowledge of my weaknesses, as if I have betrayed my own self to my enemy. So this passage in Lamentations 3: 21-26 was a good reminder this morning:
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
Sometimes it is good to wait quietly because right now I'm pretty sure if I move, one of those arrows is going to pierce me right through.