Have you ever felt like a zombie?


Some days I feel like a zombie Christian. In my mind the words echo: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”

Those words sound good in sermons and on the pages of the Bible. It doesn't feel so good when I wake up some mornings with a bad attack of zombie stirrings. I walk around, half alive in Christ, yearning to be like him and share his beautiful and loving disposition. And yet, I drag myself through the day as one possessed by death in all its seeping ugliness. That zombie stuff is hard to hide. If only it would go away and stay quiet. Forever.

Then I remember: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”

So I pray and take a step. And I take another step.

And when faith falters, I wonder: How can God stand all the zombie Christians? We walk around only partly fashioned into gleaming new people with new spirits and new ways of interacting with each other. And part of us oozes.

What a picture we must make. Christians: The walking dead. Christians: The alive in Christ. Christians: Those who need to die daily to remnants of the self and to sin.

I wish we could fast forward to the end of the picture when we're changed into something beautiful.

That dying-yet-living stuff makes me a zombie Christian, I suppose.

I don't even like zombies. I can't watch those movies.

Yet, if I'm honest, I have something in common with a zombie. I'm part Christlike, part stumbling sinner who refuses to behave and stay crucified and buried.

How I yearn for the resurrection day, when a new earth will replace this place, when a new resurrected body will replace this decaying one, and when all the dead and dying parts of my mind and spirit will be perfected by God's grace.

And not just me. I'm looking forward to when other zombie Christians I bump into and fall over will also be changed. We keep hurting each other. Even a hug can hurt a zombie. Go figure.

Until we're changed, what can we do but walk in faith? And try, prayerfully, to beat back that zombie whenever we see it emerge. For our faith is in the God who wants to and can change death into life. We can't do it. He can.

He promises to give eternal life to whoever believes. Eternal life, not as zombies, but as fully alive and whole people.  The God who created all things can do it. He promises.

Oh, Lord. Let the day dawn soon when the dead will rise. Then it will be joyful to say:
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20 NIV

This article first appeared in the 2011 Fall issue of OtherSheep. http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/288126.

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