Tag Archives: Romance

Haunted

Read 1 Samuel 28:7-20

ALSO IN SCRIPTURE
“The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined.” (Matthew 4:16, NLT)

Crimson-Peak-photo-600x400As a fan of Gothic Romance, Horror, and Ghost stories, I was super excited to see Guillermo Del Torro’s latest film, “Crimson Peak.” It is a film about an aspiring author falling in love with an obscure Baronet who lives in a remote Gothic mansion in the English hills. Following a very tragic event, Edith marries that Sir Thomas Sharpe (aka the Baronet) and moves with him to his remote mansion and begin a new life with him and his sister, Lady Lucille. While, I am not one to do spoilers, it would hardly spoil the fun of the film by saying that the move to England doesn’t end up as romantic or happily-ever-after as she would’ve hoped. It turns out that the mansion has a long, bloody, and terrible past that is literally haunting Edith at every turn. The ghosts of the past lurk in the halls, the walls and the floor boards of a house that is relentless in bringing the past to life to the horror of everyone involved.

What I loved about this film is that it is a ghost tale of the classic order. It doesn’t set out to give the audience cheap thrills and “gotcha” pop-out scares. While there is a little bit of that, this film seeks to get under one’s skin and haunt them in ways more profound than anything cheap could possibly accomplish. If Edgar Allan Poe were a film writer/director, then this is the film he would have come up with. As a result, I think that this film not only haunts us with the ghosts we see on the screen, but also gives us a glimpse at the ghosts that haunt us from within as well.

Each and everyone of us are haunted by ghosts of one form or the other. Each of us carries around with us things from the past that linger within us and haunt us like spooks in a boarded up abandoned house. Some of us carry around the things we’ve done in the past, similar to what I wrote about regarding skeletons in our closet. For some, there ghosts are there as a reminder of the foul play we’ve participated in. Perhaps we have hurt someone, perhaps we have harbored ill will toward people, perhaps we have harbored grudges, taken part in gossip, slandered those we don’t like, or perhaps we done things that we fear will expose us in ways that will be less than flattering.

On the other hand, many of us carry around ghosts of a different kind. We have endured hurts and been weighed down by the hangups that come from them. Perhaps we’ve been bullied, been abused, been mistreated, been cheated, or been burned in one way or the other. Perhaps we have been the victim of cruelty, victims of a weakened and demoralized self-esteem, victims of hatred and bigotry, or perhaps we have been beaten down by depression and other paralyzing diseases. Whatever we’ve been scarred by, we are haunted by the ghosts that remind us of the thorny and twisted path our lives have been journeying on.

What is important to note is that, whatever our ghosts are, they will not go away until we address the warnings they bear us. If your ghosts are closeted skeletons, address the ills you have done and sincerely reconcile yourself with your past and those you have brought harm to. If your ghosts are the kind that have been brought on by others and/or circumstances, then you need to address the warnings they bring you. Whatever you are demoralized from, whatever is casting a haunting, shadowy stain on your soul, these ghosts are serving to let you know that something is NOT right with how you currently view yourself. You are a beautiful person, a child of God, worthwhile, and valuable. Until you seek help and get past your ghosts, you will continue to head down the corridor of foreboding. I pray that you put your ghosts to rest and step out into the light where you belong.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY
“Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.” – Stephen King

PRAYER
Lord, help me to understand that the ghosts that haunt me are angels warning me that something needs to change. Help me, also to discover what that “something” is, and empower me to change it. Amen.

Beyond the ‘L’ Word

Read John 14:11-21

ALSO IN SCRIPTURE

“Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:8)

QuoteIn our culture, we often romanticize what love is, do we not? When we hear the word “love”, we often think of bouquets of flowers, long walks along the shoreline in the moonlight, and romantic gondola rides through Venice. We often think of warm candlelight, nights with a loved one by the fireplace, and all of the warm and fuzzies that make our hearts flutter at the sound of “love.”

How can we help having such an image? Our culture is constantly feeding us with this understanding of love. Our supermarkets and bookstores are lined with romance novels, magazines with tips on having a better love life, cards that tell your significant others how much you love them and many other things that paint this particular picture of love. We are inundated with love songs that fill the radio airwaves and our mp3 players. Just try and find a song on the radio that is NOT about romantic love. They exist, but they are definitely hard to find. Romance also shows up in movies where characters are “in love” with people as well as monsters such as vampires, werewolves and, if you can believe it, even zombies.

If you were a visitor from another planet and you were trying to understand our language, you would come to the conclusion the word “love” mostly means “romance. Yet does that sufficiently describe the word love? Is romance all there is to the word love, or does love extend far beyond that particular definition. I am sure most, if not all, people know the answers to those questions; however, when love plays out in different ways in our lives we often don’t recognize it for the love that it is.

When I was a teenager, my parents loved me by not allowing me to do EVERYTHING I ever wanted to do. The loved me by not always letting me have my way. The loved me by allowing me to make mistakes and suffer the consequences. They loved me by holding me accountable to the expectations the set of me. They also loved me by letting me go to experience the world on my own terms. That last one is, perhaps, the hardest love for a parent to exhibit. Letting go, holding people accountable, allowing people to make their choices and reap the consequences, and saying “no” to people, often does not sound or feel like love. Yet, depending on the circumstances, it can and often is a form of love!

When Jesus called Peter to love and feed his sheep, he was not calling him to romance; however, he was calling him love in a much more profound and powerful way. He was called to love people as a brother, as a friend, and as a parent; however, Peter was also called to love beyond those classifications as well. He was called to love as GOD LOVES. He was called to invite those who wished to be invited and let go those who wished to be let go. He was called to guide and to lead; however, he was also called to step down and be led. He was called to live a life that brought hope, healing and wholeness to others, even if the cost of that would be his very life.

Christ calls us to do the same, we are not merely called to love our significant others. We are not called to get overly attached to the warm and the fuzzies; rather, we are called to exhibit the very LOVE of God. We are called to invite and to let go. We are called to guide and to lead, as well as to step down and be led. We are called to love our neighbors, and even our enemies, as we love ourselves. There is nothing that falls outside the breadth of God’s unconditional and unquellable love. Know that you are loved and BE LOVE in the lives of others. If God is love, and you are in God, then you are LOVE too!

THOUGHT OF THE DAY

“Where there is love, there is life.” – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

PRAYER

Lord, lead me ever deeper into a life of love. Amen.