Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Frankenstein Walked Me Home

Recently attended a book-to-film presentation at our local library branch. After discussing the author and the original book, a film version was presented for contrast. The book was Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and published in 1818. The movie was the 1931 film of that book with Boris Karloff playing the monster.

Mary Shelley had a difficult life and one could see how that life provided inspiration for the idea of a scientist piecing together body parts to create a new life.

I saw the original 1931 version about 15 years after its debut. It was the first horror film I had ever seen. I was a young boy living in a coal mining community. Every week, a man would come to the community house, put up a white sheet on which a film would be projected, all for ten cents. I still remember sitting through that film terrified and almost afraid to breathe. The scene where the monster throws the young girl into the lake where she drowns stills scares me.

The hardest part of seeing the movie was having to walk home in the dark after it had finished. My friends and I walked as a group. There was nervous laughter as if that would eliminate the threat. Members of the group peeled away to their homes. I was the last one left and had to walk alone. It felt like Frankenstein was walking right behind me. I ran along the dirt road to my house, daring not to stop and look back.

As adults we sometimes walk through life like a Frankenstein is behind us, nipping at our heels. We have all been there. Here are a few thoughts to help you deal with the monsters from the past that still try to overcome us with fear.

Frankenstein is a fictional fabrication. But not everything that haunts us in real life is fictional. There are real painful moments in people’s lives that keep resurrecting itself and jumping out at us from a dark place. I handled my fictional monster my running, not stopping and not turning around.

Consider the opposite. Stop and look fear right in the eye! Arm yourself with Ephesians 6:14-17.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

There is no need to be afraid. You have all what it takes. You are never alone

Robert Parlante
October 2016

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