Read John 5:1-15
ALSO IN SCRIPTURE
“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2 NLT)
As a fan of the TV series The Walking Dead on AMC, I am thrilled at the direction they brought the show through season 10 and season 11. Prior to that, it had felt like the show had dried up a bit, as if they lost their desire to keep the audiences thrilled anymore; however, since they announced that Season 11 would be the last season for the series, it was as if that had sparked the passion once again. Let me tell you, Season 11 has been as good as the original seasons and it so great to see them go out on a high note.
It definitely is an iconic show that has brought horror, and the power of using the horror genre as social commentary, to the mainstream. Those elements were always a part of horror; however, only horror fans exposed themselves to it to know that. The truth is, nowadays, there isn’t a single person who doesn’t know the show The Walking Dead, and they know full-well that Walkers are not a metal frame used to stablize you while walking. Zombies are everywhere!
Toward the end of Season 10, there was this episode where one of the OG (original) characters, Carol, was supposed to be making soup inside her house and she ends up having a complete nervous break down. It started off with her inability to really find any food that would be suitable for soup. Still, she grabbed what she could, but there was no meat to be had. *scurry* Wait a minute, or was there. *scurry scurry* A mouse! There was a rat in the wall. She had heard it and so had Dog (that’s right, she has a dog named Dog…well, it was Daryl’s but she was dogsitting Dog.). There he was, his head cocked, his earsed perked, and he was just waiting for that rat to come out! *scurry scurry scurry*
Oh, he came out and the dog nearly broke everything in the kitchen trying to catch the rat, who survived. So, Carol set a trap to catch the rat and she did catch him, but he escaped and ran back into the wall. Carol was not having that! She took out a knife and started stabbing in all the places she could hear the little rat feet pitter-pattering on the wood in between the walls. She stabbed at that wall until she could put her hands in and tear the wall down and, when she was done with that wall, she proceeded to disassemble her entire house…trying to catch the rat.
Well, needless to say, she did not catch the rat, but she had destroyed her home and had one of her friends come over to do a wellness check on her. When he found her there, he asked her if everything was okay. At that point, Carol was resigned, exhausted, emotional and just beginning to regain her sanity. She looked up at him and said, “Bad day. I’ve had a really bad day.” The tears rolled down her cheeks and her friend stood silent, just nodding his head and just being a silent presence for her.
Indeed, she had had a bad day. Let’s be honest, in the Zombie Apocalypse every day goes from bad to worse! But inwardly, Carol had a really bad day. Why? Because she’s grieving. She lost her daughter all those years ago when she was a battered wife at the outset of the pandemic. Her group had been to hell and back with all of the dangerous groups out there with tribal mentalities. She had witnessed the brutal deaths of her friends and family and she was grieiving the fact that another decision of hers made earlier on in Season 9 had left people dead and missing. She had become a liability to her people, and she didn’t know how to cope with that.
Indeed. Carol had a really bad day. We all can have really bad days. I have had my share and, in those moments, we say and do things that we later come to regret and lament. Throughout the pandemic, I had a really bad couple of years. I had heightened depression, unruly anxiety, worked around the clock, gained a ton of weight, passed out and broke my teeth, got into an accident that ended up resulting in meniscus surgery, and went through an extended period of time with no teeth and only a “flipper” or denture to where aesthetically. When I ate…I had to pull that thing out and eat with two missing front teeth.
I had had a really really bad couple of years. During that time, my mood swings and my anxiety really made my family concerned for me. Thankfully, I am a rather self-reflective person and I was concerned for me too. I got the help I needed because I had a family that was there for me. I had people who were a silent presence in my life and that helped me carry on to much better days.
Friends, this is what it means to be a Christian. When one falls, we all fall. When one rises, we all rise. All for one and one for all. We all have really bad periods of time where we are not at our best and people really need to stretch to love us; however, those who do love you will stretch and let you know they are there. That is what we are called to do in the lives of others as well. When we need help, Jesus sends others to help us. When others need help, Jesus sends us to the rescue. Let us open our hearts to being present in the lives of those who are suffering and having really bad days.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY
Being a Christian means BEING PRESENT
Lord, help me to be present in the lives of those around me. Help me to empathize with people and be a friendly, compassionate ear for those who need. Amen.