I have a problem with vampires. I love them--that's the problem. They aren't really nice. There dark, sensual, powerful, enigmatic, immortal, deadly...lots of adjectives--but not nice. So it bothers me that I'm so incredibly drawn to them and can't seem to get enough. It's bothered me for a while and in the last year or so, I've really done some deep thinking about it. I think I know why vampires are so compelling and it has a lot to do with how we are made, what we crave, and how desperately we want to be loved, pursued, and cherished by someone greater than ourselves.
A few weeks ago I was sharing with some friends how I was obsessed with vampires at various times in my life and while I should be doing (A LOT) of other things, I was currently marathon watching TrueBlood. It's not a nice show--it's about vampires. It has a lot of other stuff in it
that's also not nice.
Anyway, I shared that I was kind of working on this thesis as to why vampires are so compelling and I shared just a tiny bit. Then I laughingly said, "but don't worry, it's not like I'm going to share this at the women's brunch, or anything." It's a coping mechanism; I joke around when I'm uncomfortable.
A few days later, I was trying to have some quiet time with God (and not watch TrueBlood). I was praying about what I should speak about at the brunch. "What do you want me to share, God? What do I have to share with these ladies? Should I talk about foster care and learning to love when it's hard? That would be good, right?" Then the conversation I'd had with friends a few days prior popped into my head. I actually laughed out loud. "Lord, you don't want me to talk to the ladies in our church about vampires...at the Christmas brunch...right, Lord? Right?"
The answer was: yeah.
It was really hard to come up with this message. I felt like I was crazy. It's one thing to share a struggle with some friends and try to joke it off...it's another to confess before a live audience that you really like something so dark and that it's basically a substitute for needing a savior. And there was my message.
I prayed about it a lot. I asked God if he was sure he really wanted me to talk about vampires at Christmas. I wondered if my own fascination with them was just clouding my judgement. I even did a REALLY rough recording of my message and sent it to a friend--I told her to be brutally honest: was it just too far out there? She absolutely not into vampires so I knew she would be an unbiased opinion. She actually said that it touched her and I should definitely go with it. There was no getting
out of this.
Today was the brunch. I was up from 1:00 AM to 5:00 AM this morning stressing about this message. I had to fit it into 20 minutes and try to convince myself that it was what I was meant to do, even if I did come off as a crazy person--it's not about me, it's about God. So, I made this concise little message about the danger of substitutions and I presented it at the brunch. It was cut even shorter than I planned because we were running late and because I was so nervous I think I left out a lot of the content--even with all the notes I had in front of me.
But it didn't come off as totally crazy. In fact, I saw ladies tearing up...it weirded me out a bit. And afterward, there were several who came up and appreciated the message. There were also several who could not make it today because of the crazy weather and wished they could have heard it--I think admitting to them that I was actually going to speak about vampires aroused their curiosity. So, I actually had the forethought before I began speaking to hit record on my phone and I have the message. It's just 15 minutes. Admittedly, I cried when I listed to it afterward because I'm still pretty weirded out by what I had to say.
But I'm thankful that I could walk in obedience even when it was incredibly risky and terrifying because, for whatever reason, someone needed to hear about vampires at Christmas time today and I guess I was the one who needed to talk about them.