Disclaimer: I have never seen a zombie movie or TV show. It is my intent that I never will. Maybe it is because of how much I deal with death. Maybe it is because of my own brush with death last year. But I cannot understand how watching people made to look like rotting bodies is entertainment.
That said, there is something in the theme of these shows that seems to be a reflection of real life—or maybe a warning. Something that pictures the reason our world is so torn apart, so angry and bitter, so intent on hurting others. The scene is a quiet neighborhood with an unsuspecting victim walking along—unsuspecting. All of a sudden this gross, rotting zombie lumbers toward her. She is so unsuspecting she can’t outrun this creature who can’t run, and it grabs her, bites her, infects her. The result of his attack? She is a zombie. She is him. She is the same as her attacker.
This is what I call the Zombie Effect. Let’s look at it on a small scale. You are driving along minding your own business when someone honks at you. You don’t know them—or why they’re honking. But obviously they are angry and your adrenaline begins to rise a bit. Finally, they pass you with their windows down, spewing vulgar slurs and shaking their fists. Then they pull in front of you, cutting you off. Now you are angry. You are outraged at their behavior. Five minutes later, you find yourself behind someone who is going way too slow for the flow of traffic. You are still irritated and your adrenaline is still flowing. You start honking… You got bit, and now you are what bit you. You are a zombie driver.
Think about all the bad things people do to one another today—and the reactions of most people to them.
A husband feels hurt by a comment his wife made. He goes from being happy to be home with her to being angry and hurt and he looks for a way to get back. Within the hour he sees his opening and he makes a hurtful comment to her. Now they’re both miserable and they’ve both hurt someone they love. He got bit. He’s a zombie husband.
A white man takes advantage of his favored position and refuses to treat a minority subordinate in an appropriate way. The subordinate is angry and works hard until he is the guy in authority. The day comes when it is he who has the power, and he refuses to treat his white subordinate with respect. He got bit. He’s a zombie.
A man has power over a woman and abuses that power—clearly in the wrong. She reports him and in an interview talks about how “empowered” she now feels. She’s got the power over others now. She got bit. She’s a zombie.
A young teen is bullied by other guys at school. He guts it out, feeling humiliated and hating his life. He goes home and starts taking his frustration out on his younger brother. Pushing him around makes him feel stronger, less vulnerable, less ashamed. He got bit. He’s a zombie.
For years the Republicans were pushed around by the Democrats in power. Not only unable to accomplish the goals of their agenda, they felt constantly belittled by the Democrats in the press and the halls of power. They were frustrated and humiliated—until the pendulum swung in their direction. Now they are in power, and they are the ones frustrating the others and taking every opportunity to humiliate the Democrats. They got bit. They are zombies.
Zombies are not strong—they are weak. They are controlled by the zombies who created them. They become like the ones they most despise—and they pass it on and on and on.
We don’t have to be zombies. The Apostle Paul said: Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (emphasis mine). (Romans 12:17-21, NAS)
Even after we’re bitten, the zombie virus in us can be fought. But we need help. We need the Holy Spirit working in us and changing us. Only with His help can we fight off the virus and not become what we are fighting. Only then can we become part of the solution and not the problem in this fallen world.