The downside of writing about zombies when you know very little about them is that you have to do lots of informational searches. Searches that flood your computer screen with all manner of disgusting and creepy zombie images. It will be a miracle if I get through this 31-day writing challenge without a few zombie nightmares.
Today’s search was for a simple list of zombie traits. Although my source may not be the favored among zombie experts, I’m settling because this series is just for fun and I’ve seen enough scary stuff for one day.
Wikipedia tells us that: “In zombie films, zombies are almost always:
- Mobile (able to move) but technically dead, without a heartbeat or other vital signs
- In a decaying (rotting) state, with discolored skin and eyes
- Non-communicative (groaning and howling instead of speaking)
- Unemotional, with no mercy toward victims
- Hungry for human flesh (zombies ignore animals like dogs or cats)
- Clumsy and violent
- Vulnerable to destruction of the brain, which kills them
- Unaffected by injuries, even normally fatal ones, as long as they do not hurt the brain too much
- Contagious: a person that is bitten by a zombie will become a zombie
- Does not attack other zombies, leading to swarms of zombies”
Nothing too surprising there. But what if we use this to develop the profile of a spiritual zombie? A spiritual zombie would:
- go through the motions of life (mobile) but would lack 1) a heart for the things of God and 2) vital signs of spiritual life
- have a decaying (rotting) faith
- lack communication with God
- be unemotional, with little or no mercy toward others
- be motivated to defeat others
- be spiritually clumsy and erratic
- be callous toward pain
- drag others into lukewarm faith
Obviously, this profile is not verifiable; it’s merely for discussion’s sake. And I’d like to tease out the “vital signs” listed there at the top, as this has been on my mind since I jotted it in my notes a few months back. Vital signs typically refer to specific clinical measurements (i.e., pulse, temperature, respiration rate, blood pressure). But without those vital signs, humans are unable to function as normal—they are unable to interact with people and experience life through their five senses (sight, smell, hearing, taste, touch).
What does this mean for spiritual zombies? It means our spiritual lives are lagging because our senses are either dead (completely offline) or hindered (unable to process correctly). Without our ability to engage the world around us, we lack awareness of our own selves and others. And this is another reason Jesus gave this assessment: “You are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17). Because, really—who among us would walk about in life like that, if we knew it? Jesus is giving us information that we aren’t able to ascertain on our own, because He doesn’t want us to remain in our zombie state.
In upcoming posts, I’d like to explore the role our senses play in our spiritual lives, how a spiritually healthy person engages life through them, and if we can wake up from zombie-like faith by bringing our five senses back online.