I finished reading I Am Legend by Richard Matheson about a week ago. I had heard that the book was very different from the movie and wanted to see for myself. I was originally drawn to the movie because I totally dig zombies, but I am also really into vampires too. I can remember being a kid of about 3rd grade when my dad brought home Night of the Living Dead on VHS. It was the first really scary movie that I watched. I sat next to my brother on the couch peaking through fingers, my body rigid and awaiting something that would jump out from around a corner. I have to say that I loved both the movie and the book. There are many differences in the two stories, but both can equally stand on their own, which I can’t say for the first Twilight movie.
I have always been drawn to solitary figures. It is only now as I have been married for a couple years that I have come to appreciate the intimacy of another and the joy that it brings into my life. I enjoyed reading Robert Neville start to learn about the different disciplines and how he would get frustrated as he would hit a learning wall. I readily identified with that as someone who is a jack of all trades and master of none. I am constantly confronted by learning curves and Google has proved to be one the best teachers that I have ever had. This fact about Robert Neville really kicked off some questions inside of me. If I was the only person around would how would my spiritual life be different. Would my character change? They say character is who you are when no one is looking, it is your core.
In the film Robert Neville is a Christ figure, but in the book he ends up dying for no real reason. His desire was to find others like himself, but it turns out that the others weren’t for sure that they wanted him in his group. They were vampires who had learned to control their disease and Robert was the vampire killer who was killing them during the day. He longing for human community, even if that community turned out to be with people who were different from himself, as long as they weren’t out to kill him. Given the opportunity I think that he would have learned to live with them and coexisted.
I know several people that are critical of others and would rather be alone than befriend someone who may be a little quirky or eccentric. I think that I tend to be a very compassionate and forgiving friend, especially when it comes to meeting new people. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I do want to point out that there needs to be a place in our lives for extending some compassion to people who may be “socially challenged.” I have had several friends, who my other friends would give me crap for hanging out with or even answering a phone call from. I want to be a blessing to others and sometimes my gift if just being present. That sounds so arrogant to read back over, but it is really an action of humility. I know that as much as I love solitude, I do not really want to be alone.
Is there someone in your life that needs a grace-filled friendship? How can your humble action of being present in another’s life be a blessing?