Devotion #6: Dangerous Liasons

“I’m trying to figure out what you are.”
His jaw tightened, but he kept his smile in place with some effort.
“Are you having any luck with that?” he asked in an offhand tone.
“Not too much,” I admitted.
He chuckled. “What are your theories?”(…)
“…bitten by a radioactive spider?”
“Nope….Kryptonite doesn’t bother me, either,” he chuckled.
“I’ll figure it out eventually,” I warned him.
“I wish you wouldn’t try.” He was serious again.
“What if I’m not the superhero? What if I’m the bad guy?” He smiled playfully, but his eyes were impenetrable.
“Oh,” I said, as several things he’d hinted suddenly fell into place. “I see.”
“You’re dangerous?” I guessed, my pulse quickening as I intuitively realized the truth of my own words. He was dangerous. He’d been trying to tell me that all along.
He just looked at me, eyes full of some emotion I couldn’t comprehend.
“But not bad,” I whispered, shaking my head. “No, I don’t believe that you’re bad.”
“You’re wrong.”
Twilight, Chapter 5

In this passage, we begin to get our first glimpse behind Edward’s mask. We gain insight into why he’s been acting so strangely, keeping Bella at a distance. Having previously told Bella they “shouldn’t be friends,” we now know why: he’s dangerous.
To really understand what’s happening here, we need to understand Edward’s story a little better:

When Edward was dying from Spanish Influenza in 1918 Dr. Carlisle Cullen changed him into a vampire, saving his life and taking him under his wing as an adopted son. Carlisle, who has never tasted human blood (which would be committing sin in his eyes), teaches Edward to live the same life free of this sin. Edward, going through a time of rebellion and not appreciating having his “appetite curbed” leaves home to pursue his desire of human blood. He uses his gift of mind-reading to seek out the evil and depraved of society: murderers and rapists, and feasts upon their blood instead, finding virtue in his “cleansing” of society. After a few years, his justification of his own actions wears thin, and he can no longer justify taking even the lives of these habitual deviants. He returns home to Carlisle, repentant, and resumes his life of “vegetarian” vampirism.

Edward still carries guilt about his actions, feeling that no matter what he does in his existence, he will never be good and deserving of happiness. Like many of us, Edward suffers from a spirit of condemnation. What this means, essentially, is that he can never move past his sin into a personal peace in God’s Grace.

The entire story is actually very similar to the human story. We were created sinless, without blemish. Our first father and mother, Adam and Eve, committed the original sin and caused sin to enter the entire human line thereafter. We all must now contend with a fallen nature. Likewise Edward, through no fault of his own, must now contend with his desire (or, lust) for human blood.

Edward has an inaccurate view of himself. Like many of us, he sees his fallen (vampire) nature and considers himself damned (this is explored from an eternal standpoint in New Moon).  He cannot get past his own sin to see the redemption offered to him.  But like Christ for us, Carlisle provides for Edward a way out: the blood of animals to avoid sin. Noone: vampire, human, werewolf, space alien or Sith Lord is beyond the reach and validity of God’s Grace. In reality, this is what Bella represents to Edward: Grace, happiness, and love.

If we can get past our own sin to see Christ’s love extended our perspective changes, our lust for sin diminishes, and we are changed.


~ by sarahthebaker on November 23, 2009.

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