Horror: How to Keep Your Head

The Shock! The Rage! The Scandal! Well…actually, the man was already dead, so no harm done.

Poor unfortunate F. W. Murnau, you have gone and lost your head. No, seriously, that is what happened. The would-be 126 year old (had he super human skills) Film Director was allegedly disrupted in his eternal sleep to have his skull removed. At least, that is what the headlines are telling us happened at his grave site in Germany this past week. To make matters worse, it appears this odd event took place during an occult ceremony. Creepy, right? These strange and peculiar events make little to no sense, and are a distasteful and unsettling topic that one should not bring up at the dinner table. But we are not civilized. Are we, reader? So, as we always try to do, we should attempt to learn something from this topic at hand. But that begs the question, what possible message or lesson could one glean from such a strange turn of events? I think that if we dive head first (no pun intended) into the situation, a bit of irony can be found.

If we were to look back at the late (like, very late) German Director’s archives, we would find that this man is one of the individuals who paved the way for the Horror film industry. He is credited for making one of the most popular Silent Horror films of all time, the Dracula rip-off, Nosferatu. Incidentally, this is 1 of the 3 Silent films I have had the patience or interest in putting myself through (though The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is probably my favorite). While the film itself was almost completely destroyed because it broke copy right laws against the family of Bram Stoker and his novel about one Count Dracula. But the film barely survived, and thus many Horror films and fans have F. W. Murnau and his ingenious film to thank. Yet, it makes it even more intriguing that a man so attatched to the horror film genre should be associated with such a strange and creepy crime as this, even far past his lifetime. I suppose you could say, what goes around comes around?

While I am not criticizing the notion of watching a good spooky film now and than. It does seem ironic though that the man’s corpse was tampered with by those so engrossed with his history, and the fans that his work created. One might say, In short, he created this mess for himself when he invented this dark film. “Karma?” you ask? Something claiming that individuals are to blame their own physical sufferings in a past life (because of past snobbery or thievery, etc.) does not seem like the notion we are quite looking for. But the Bible does bring up something that can apply to our own lives.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. – Galatians 6:7-8

We need to understand that what we choose to do will ultimately define us and find us out. That should be both an encouragement and a warning. In which way, you ask? Well first off, just because your life is good or bad should not be a clear indication. Why, Jeremiah (12:1) and Job (21:7) have both asked why men of evil reputation live on, while the good suffer. And just in reverse, some men who suffer do so because their lives have been lived in a way that makes it difficult, and some good men do indeed prosper. So we cannot take into account the mere here and now, we need to look to the future for this time of reaping. Secondly, Psalm 7 gives us some clear insight as to what this reaping and sowing business is all about. In it, David is talking about a problem he is having with another individual who is treating him wrongly. Yet, David does not lose all heart. The reason being is because he knows God is the righteous judge (vs. 11), and that he sees the hearts of men, and will ultimately judge  according to each man’s actions (vs. 8-10). You see, at some point or another, we all will have to face the actions we have committed. It may not be this life, but God will make right, his beloved and suffering children, and will bring justice to those who bring about the suffering.

What does that mean for us? Well, the easy answer would be to just do no sin and move on with your life. But that doesn’t answer the problem at hand. I think what we all need to do is realize that no matter how hard life, relationships, our physical state, or how people treat us, we will all one day receive the justice we deserve. If we work hard now, and even if life seems to give us little credit or benefits, we can know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it is better than turning against the righteous judge who will see our every thought and action. We can lean on Him, trust Him, and depend on Him when life seems unfair, and ultimately be given the beautiful reward of life and love with Him. It is either that, or making a legacy for yourself that is far worse than any horror film.

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