Let's face it, it's something we all have to do. We have to decide what we believe honors God--what we will allow into our minds and subsequently, our hearts. The world is rife with entertainment that looks innocuous at first glance, but will slowly poison the soul. It's also full of garbage that looks horrible from as little as the thirty second teaser that pops up during commercial breaks for other programming. I'm thankful for those horrific blurbs. They save me a lot of time in deciding what I can absolutely avoid.
What I want to address today, however, are the instances where the line is blurrier. In my recent experience, one of these foggy places had to do with my husband's participation in a local stage production of Dracula.
I realize that the vampire has made a comeback, with the overwhelming popularity of the Twilight series. I admit, I know next to nothing about Stephenie Meyer's phenomenon, since I have no fascination with vampire stories, and have never followed the genre. The craze isn't new, though. Ann Rice had her heyday, I believe starting with her Interview with the Vampire, written in the 70's but propelled to becoming a household word by the 1994 film. And I'm sure there were other surges of vampire lore that came up just about every decade before. (Given Anne Rice's current body of work, I should probably familiarize myself with more of what she's done, but I digress.)
What I'm saying here is that the vampire, like so many other denizens of the speculative sub-genres, sees the spotlight in cycles, and I think that has a lot to do with why our local theater chose Dracula for this year's fall production. Whether or not any spiritual consideration went into the choice, I have no idea, but in the reading of the script, the spiritual content is there. The power of God to overcome evil, forgiveness, all of our need for salvation...it lingers in the subtext, and sometimes even the outright spoken word of the play, and it's for this reason I can say I came to grips with my husband taking a role in the show.
Many Christians might not agree with our choice in having my husband participate in the production. They all have to draw their lines for themselves, and if any naysayer has a biblical reason he'd like to discuss with us as to whether we have misstepped, I'd gladly hear it. One undeniable benefit of the experience, however, is that his belonging to this cast has given my husband the chance to rub elbows with some folks who were ready to engage in a spirited debate about the matters of faith in the play, as well as his walk with the Lord. Through a carefully chosen secular vehicle, I believe my husband has encountered a chance to speak freely about the gospel. In that regard, he's doing immensely better than I am in furthering the gospel. Real world interaction and honest debate are powerful tools in shedding light on the gospel to those who haven't considered it beyond a passing familiarity.
So, once again, the challenge of being "in the world but not of it" rears it's head, and we all have to search the scriptures and our souls as to what this means in daily living. We also have to decide how our passions, interests and talents can be used in the context of the world to show others that there is something immeasurably greater that lies beyond our daily experience. Whether this production of Dracula raises any of those questions to the audience, I don't know, but I'll find out this weekend, and perhaps post a review of the show here. But what I do know is what went on behind the scenes, in the context of dressing room conversations, and that itself had eternal value.