Tag Archives: Werewolves

Real Love

Read Ephesians 5:1-2

“We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters” (1 John 3:16 NLT)

A show that I have been into since it came out is Teen Wolf, which was produced by MTV. The show is six seasons long and now has a movie out as well. It follows Scott McCall, a teenage boy who accidentally got bit by a werewolf. Of course, anyone of us who have been alive since Henry Hull and Lon Chaney, Jr. have scared us on the silver screen, we all know that anyone who survives a bite by a werewolf becomes a werewolf themselves.

The show was loosely based on a two-movie franchise of the same name, but this series takes the mythology and the story much more seriously than the campy 80’s film franchise, which was also good in its own right. Like the movies, the show addresses the changes in Scott as well as the high school drama that he gets involved in or sucked into. When one thinks of it, werewolves make an excellent metaphor for pubertiy and the changes one goes through during that awkward time, including sprouting hear, growth spurts, etc.

In episode 6 of season 3, an episode entitled, “Motel California”, Scott and his Lacrosse team find themselves stuck in a motel as their game got postponed. During their stay, the werewolf teens (and at this point there are more than just Scott) become ill and suicidal. Why? Because it turns out that someone poisoned their coaches whistle, which he blew incessantly to get them to behave, with a poisonous plant known as Aconitum or just simply Aconite. In English, that translates to Wolfsbane.

Wolfsbane is a real, beautiful, and poisonous plant that has also been associated throughout the centuries as a plant that can deter werewolves, vampires and witches. This plant is native to the Northern Hemisphere and grows naturally in North America, Europe, and Asia. In humans, if ingested, this plant can cause diarreah, nausea, vomitting, convulsions, and death, depedning on the amount ingested. According to tradition, wolfsbane burns and weakens werewolves, but does not kill them.

In the show Teen Wolf however, it also can cause the werewolves to become self-destructive and suicidal. So, after enough of that goes around the werewolf teens are knocking on death’s door and Scott, in particular, is hit hard with it. His friends Stiles, Lydia and others, all of which are not werewolves, find that the intense light can reverse the effects. As such, Stiles comes up with a plan to light flares and put them in the faces of the affected werewolves in order to try and save their lives via the intense light.

Of course, the plan works. When Stiles and crew find Scott, however, they discover he’s poured gasoline all around himself and the school bus. Also, as it turns out, he his holding a flare over the gasoline. When he speaks his words are haunting and distant. He begins to tell them that perhaps him not being alive anymore will be best for everyone. He asks his best friend Stiles, if he remembers how everything was before he was a werewolf. He reminds him of how they were nobodies, not popular, not good at Lacrosse. They were no one and Scott is now wondering if maybe that it is better to be nothing…to be nobody.

It is at this moment in the scene, and yes this is a bit of a spoiler in this episode but not to the show overall, Stiles counters his friend and tells him he is not a nobody. That Scott puts himself in jeopardy all the time to save others and that the world is A MUCH BETTER PLACE with him in it. Then Stiles does something unexpected, he steps into the gasoline and says, but hey, if you are going to do it take me with you because we are brothers. Of course, that is not what Stiles wanted, but he selflessly took a gamble that Scott would not follow through if Stiles’ life was at risk.

That could have backfired; however, Stiles was willing to selflessly risk his life in order to save his friend. The episode is so powerful because it shows us what love is: it is self-sacrificial. Now, I have to pause here because, I do not want people thinking that self-sacrifical love means we need to needlessly suffer or sacrifice unnecessarily. God does not call us to suffer needlessly and God does not call us to “cast our pearls before swine” (Matthew 7:6) either; however, there are times when we are called to put others before ourselves and there is no greater form of love when we do so (John 15:13).

Just like Stiles, we are called to LOVE people as God would love them. Stiles did what he did because he valued Scott’s life and could not sit by and allow him to hurt or destroy himself. Instead, he took a calculated risk to show Scott HOW MUCH he was loved. The story could have ended differently and not every story ends on a happy note as this one did; however, as Christians we are called to LOVE people as God loves them even if that means making ourselves vulnerable to show them that love. This is the Christian way, set forth by Jesus Christ our Lord.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE: If you or anyone you know maybe struggling with depression, self-harm, or suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (USA & Territories) by texting or dialing 988.

“Jesus’ own witness of sacrificial love and forgiveness, and his work to heal the sick and care for those in need, represent God’s ways and vision for us.” – Adam Hamilton

Lord, teach me your ways and your love. Grow your love in me so that I not only abide in it, but share it with others. Amen.

Be Still, My Soul

Read Mark 5:1-13

ALSO IN SCRIPTURE “Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.” (Psalms 46:10)

The-Wolf-Man“Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the Wolf’s Bane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.” At first when Larry Talbot hears those words recited to him by the engaged woman he is attempting to seduce, he laughs it off as superstitious hogwash. One thing that could certainly be said is that Larry was certainly not pure in heart but, then again, who is? Regardless, Larry was a modern, civilized man, and there was no way that he was going to buy into werewolves and in any mythical monster.

Yet, as it turns out, later that night following those words being recited to him, Larry is bitten by what looks like a large wolf and his life becomes a living nightmare. As the full moon draws closer, Larry became more and more convinced that he was, in fact, bitten by a werewolf. He was so paranoid that he tried to convince his father who refused to believe him. Instead, his father put him in the care of a psychiatrist. On the morning following the full moon, Larry found himself lying in bed with tattered and dirty clothes on. His window was open wide and dirty footprints could be seen. At first they were wolf-like, but each footprint became more and more human. Once he saw this Larry knew his worst nightmare had come true: he was the wolf man.

As you have probably figured out, I have just summed up the first half of the movie, “The Wolf Man”, starring Lon Chaney, Jr. It is one of my favorite films because I find that I truly relate with the character. I think many, if they are honest, can relate with him. We are all flawed people. Even when we have the best of intentions, we are not pure in heart. We often try to hide the impurity and the ugliness; however, at some point, that ugliness always shows. No matter how hard we try to suppress the beast within us, whatever that beast is, the full moon eventually rises upon it and the beast is unleashed. This, of course, is a metaphor and our inner “beasts” take the form of anger, depression, hatred, bitterness, addiction, gossip, divisiveness, cynicism, and many other things.

This is a reality. We may not like to admit it, but we all have a beast that lies underneath the surface just waiting to come out of the darkness to take over and destroy our lives and the lives of those around us. The question is, will we like Larry deny that the inner beast exists? Will we deny our impurities? Will we pretend that we are all “good” people who have no weaknesses or hangups? Or will we come to terms with the fact that, while our life can be beautiful at points, it is also true that we find ourselves walking thorny paths? Will we acknowledge the thorny paths we are on. This reminds me of the first verse of a famous hymn, “Be Still, My Soul: the Lord is on your side. Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; leave to your God to order and provide; in every change God faithful will remain. Be still, my soul: your best, your heavenly friend through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.”

While “Be Still, My Soul” is talking about having strength in times of tribulation, there really is no greater tribulation than trying to fight our inner demons alone. The reality is that we were born in a broken world as broken people. The more we deny our weaknesses the more our souls suffer the consequences of that inner struggle. The Good News here is that you need not fight it at all. Christ has power over our demons if we will only allow him into our lives and into our hearts. That takes humility, it takes repentance, and it takes a willingness on our part to be transformed and to change; however, is the alternative a better option? The same Christ who cast Legion out of the possessed man in the reading for today, is the same Christ who can conquer the inner demons, the inner beast, in your life. All you need do is have faith, to be willing to change, and to allow Christ to still the storm in your soul.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY “Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know the Christ who ruled them while he dwelt below.” – Katharina von Schlegel

PRAYER Lord, still the storm within my soul. Should it ever return, remind me that you are Lord in my life and that I need not fight the battle alone. Amen.

The Beast Within

Read Luke 15:11-32


“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT)

wolfmanJust recently I sat down to watch the remake of the Wolfman. Of course, the original 1941 Wolfman starring Lon Chaney Jr., Claude Rains, Bela Legosi and Evelyn Ankers will always be one of my favorite monster movies ever; however, with that said, the 2010 remake of that film does pay homage to it, all the while adding its own twists and spins.The root of the story is the same. Larry Talbot returns home after his brother dies suddenly and horribly. Upon getting home Larry ends up getting bit by what he believes is a wolf, and when the moon shines full and bright in the sky, things begin to get a bit hairy for Larry (pun totally intended) as well as for the village. In the remake, which is where the film departs from the 1941 storyline, we learn that Larry and his father, who is cold and quite distant, had a falling out years earlier over the death of Larry’s mother (among other things). Since that time, Larry had distanced himself with his father and his family (including his brother), and did not wish to return…that is until he learns of  his brother’s death.

When he does finally return he is not welcomed warmly, as is the case in the story of the prodigal son; rather, his father greets him coldly and indifferently. Clearly both father and son have a resentment toward one another and the result is, in the end, catastrophic. In more than one way, the fact that Larry ends up turning into a werewolf serves as a metaphor the hatred, bitterness, anger and unresolved hostility that is caged up inside of him. That is all being said as a matter of observation, without affirming or denying the justification he had to be angry, bitter, and hateful of a father who, in many ways, failed him from his childhood onward.

The truth is that we all have the beast that lies within us beneath the surface, don’t we. For most of us, we are able to supress the beast, to keep it locked away, and to move our lives forward in a positive, constructive and meaningful manner. Yet, there are some who have truly been beaten up in life, or at least the feel as if they have, and it is very hard for them to move beyond what has happened to them. It’s not right, or wrong, it just is. The problem is that, when we are unable to move beyond our past, that past comes back to haunt us and that is when that inner beast comes out in full force.

Today’s challenge is for those of us who have a hard time moving beyond our past, beyond the hurts, the pain, the abuse, and/or the perceptions we have of those we feel have wronged us (whether they have or not). If you are a person who struggles with this, know that forgiveness is attainable. There is a God who has forgiven us of our past and that same God is calling us to forgive others as well. Forgiveness does not mean that we forget what has happened, or that we somehow pretend it didn’t. Nor does it mean what happened to us is okay, or we should somehow justify it. Forgiveness doesn’t mean we ignore when wrong is being done, nor does it remove the obligation we have to seek justice, as well as reconciliation.

It is also important to note that forgiveness is not just to the benefit of the ones we are forgiving, rather, it is a benefit for us…perhaps even more so than the ones we forgive. Forgiveness is our way of saying that no matter what others do to us, God still loves us and cares for us and we aren’t going to harbor anything against anyone. We are defined by God not them, and in that recognition comes a liberation that not only keeps the beast at bay, but eliminates it altogether. Remember that no one is without the need to be forgiven; therefore, no one is above forgiving others. Forgive and be set free!


“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Lord, give me the strength to forgive, even as I seek to be forgiven, and move me beyond my hurts and pains to a life of joy and peace. Amen.