After happily avoiding Lost for the better part of five years, I caved last year and started watching the show on DVD with my girlfriend. We managed to catch up in time to join the hand-wringing masses of people fretting over just how the Lost team is going to wrap it up.
Over on ThinkChristian.net Todd Hertz has compiled a few thoughts on Lost’s exploration of good and evil.
Spoilers abound in the rest of this post and in the comments.
I’ve noticed how Locke (or more correctly the Man in Black in disguise) goaded Ben into murder with classic temptation tools of Satan himself: guilt, loss, arrogance, shame, sense of entitlement. Fake Locke tells Ben: “Despite your loyal service to this island, you got cancer. You had to watch your own daughter gunned down right in front of you. Your reward for those sacrifices? You were banished. You did all this in the name of a man you never even met.” These feel like the kind of devious whispers that may have been whispered into the ear of a heartbroken, destitute Job about his faith in an absent God.
I think that Todd’s analysis is spot on, and this particular scene with Fake Locke really resonates with me. As we listen to Fake Locke regal Ben with a list of his “rewards” for his service we start to identify with Ben. We think about everything he sacrificed for Jacob and the island and wonder why he’s been cursed with so many afflictions. It isn’t really “fair” at all.
Likewise, we often think that faithfulness and loyalty to God will result in reward, whether it be monetary or the relief of suffering. Yet, despite what we want, my experience has been that God doesn’t call us to a life of free of struggle and full of earthly delights; on the contrary, some of the most faithful servants of God have been brutally persecuted, tortured and killed.
However, unlike Ben, we can take solace in the fact that those who died in the name of Christ were storing up for themselves treasure in heaven.
What about you? Do you watch Lost? What do you think about the struggle between good and evil that the show portrays? Have you spotted any other interesting allusions to Christianity in the show?