Are you “faith-less” or “faith-full?”
Ah…Fall! I love the fall season – the sights, smells and sounds of autumn. I enjoy most everything, except…when we get closer to Halloween… the inundation of horror movies on TV, whether on cable, Netflix or Hulu! While my husband likes to watch a scary movie or two, I usually vacate the room. However, he was recently watching one that caught my interest, so I sat in the room with him, while reading a magazine. (I couldn’t appear to be “too” interested in it!)
It was a teen comedy horror flick called “Fright Night,” from the 80’s. The hero, Charley, is a teenage boy who is trying to prove that the new neighbor is a vampire and that he and his undead day guardian are responsible for a string of recent murders. The only one who can help him hunt them down is a washed-up actor, Peter Vincent (played by Roddy McDowall), who hosts Charley's favorite TV show, Fright Night. Vincent doesn't really believe that vampires exist, but does it for the money. Charley, however, believes that Vincent is an expert when it comes to vampires.
When Vincent eventually confronts the neighbor in his vampire form, he whips out a cross – fully expecting the creature to back down. But after “laughing maniacally” (per the closed captioning), the vampire/demon retorts, “In order for that to work, you have to have faith.” He then wraps his fingers around the cross and destroys it.
Meanwhile, Charley pulls out his own cross and approaches the vampire, who starts groaning and flees. Vincent is watching this is in disbelief.
Fast forward a few scenes and Vincent again encounters the vampire, pulls out a new cross and holds it toward him. The vampire says again, “You have to have faith for that to work.” At first, Vincent starts to back down, then looks back at Charley, his brave young friend. One can immediately sense Vincent’s floundering faith is bolstered, and he turns toward the vampire with a new-found confidence.
So what can “Fright Night” say about the Christ follower and faith? That if we don’t have faith, our belief in God’s power is floundering? “Oh, ye of little faith…” (Mt. 8:26) How about having “faith the size of a mustard seed?” (Mt. 17:20) But what if a little faith can indeed move mountains or when we doubt whether our faith has any power, we can see others who do have faith and then our faith is strengthened by their faith?
Now I’m not saying that a little faith is ineffective, but maybe we’ve been too influenced by the “faith-less” by not having faith in God’s power to work in the world today. Let’s look around us and draw upon the strength of the “faith-full,” to be encouraged to plant the mustard seed of faith and watch it grow into full confidence in God.