Werewolves

* Image Copyright Metassus

With Halloween coming, I suppose this post is appropriate, though I didn’t intend the coincidence.

I heard a song recently that reminded me of something Rich Mullins once said. It was the tail end of a poem about how frightened he was of the evil in his own heart: “I think, Lord, that we’re all afraid of werewolves – not afraid of being destroyed by one – afraid of being one.”

I always thought the line was profound, though as I have thought about it more recently, I question whether enough people really are afraid of becoming one. I fear that too many have too little fear of it. Or perhaps reflect too little on what it means.

But as I thought about it in the last few days, I started looking at it a little differently. I wonder if sometimes our understanding of what we’re looking at is a little distorted.

It’s not a perfect metaphor perhaps, but Peter, in a vision, was shown three times a sheet filled with unclean creatures and told, “Get up, Peter. Kill, and eat.” Mortified, he protested, “Never! I will not do such a foul, evil thing!” And God said, “Don’t declare foul what I have declared clean.” (paraphrased from Acts 10) It must have been horrifying for Peter to even consider eating these things that he had shunned his entire life. The very idea of breaking these laws was anathema to him and all the Jews. Yet here’s God, telling him, “You’re looking at this wrong. You think they’re unclean, but they’re not. Don’t just listen to what you’ve been told over and over again; listen to Me.”

I wonder if sometimes we do the same kind of thing. We look at these werewolves inside us and are horrified by what could burst out, horrified that we could become this thing. Yet, I wonder if we sometimes are looking at it wrong. What if it’s not the foul, unclean, evil thing we think it is? What if God is even lowering the sheet and inviting us to partake of the very thing that we’re scared of and trying to push away? What if the direction God is trying to draw us, part of our growth as people and as followers of Jesus, is becoming the werewolf?

“Preposterous!” shouts back the heart. “That wouldn’t be part of God’s plan!”

Well, that’s what Peter said, which is why God had to show him the vision three times, and even then he didn’t get it until the real reason for the vision showed up at the front door downstairs. We’re thick, at times…

Sometimes I think we’re not so scared of the werewolves because they’re evil. I think we call them evil because we’re scared.

Are there things that God might be inviting you into that you’ve declared a werewolf?

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2 responses

  1. Kaitlin

    Well, this doesn’t apply to my life or anything!

    It reminds me of the dream I related to you, very much so. How does one discern what are the “good” werewolves and which ones are “bad”? Is there even a distinction between the two?

    November 5, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    • Discernment seems to be one of those things that just keeps coming up in life, doesn’t it?
      Patience and humility in prayer, I think, is always a boon – a willingness to listen and to be challenged in what you might hear from God. Counsel from wise advisers is always a boon in this kind of space. Also, Ignatius of Loyola offered that in any discernment process, one of the most significant questions is where something leads you – does a choice lead you more into relationship with God or away from Him? I would tack on to that, does the choice lead you more toward healthy relationship with others and yourself as well or away? Does one path lead you to acceptance and love of who you really are or splitting off or rejecting parts of yourself?

      November 6, 2012 at 8:13 am

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