I recently finished reading the entire (printed) Twilight saga.

Feel free to laugh openly about this because, apparently, this is so outside my genre it is comical (or so I’m told by my sister).

I am pleased to say that I very much enjoyed it and that there were several parts of it that really taught me things about myself that I guess I’d never picked up elsewhere. You could also have quite a heavy discussion from the spiritual symbolism that was woven generously throughout the books:

– How priorities change when immortality is yours.
The Cullens have no mundane worries as to “where they will live or what they will wear” (except for Alice of course). They lend and give generously with what they have because they understand that things are temporal. After scores of decades on the planet, they’ve gained great perspective.

– Getting better with age.
Instead of growing bitter, inflexible, or otherwise stained by the world, they continue to improve and to grow personally. This is miraculous as even a mere 20 years on the planet is more than enough time to become jaded.

– The necessity of community to retain our humanity.
The difference between the nomads who drink the blood of humans and the Cullens who do not is that the Cullens have a family unit to keep them in touch with their humanity. The further we get out on our own, the more our survival instincts take over. This is re-inforced when we do have contact with others because we tend to see them as threats or competition to us. We in-turn begin to “devour” one-another to feed our own interests.

– Love does not need to be perfect, but genuine.

I had difficulty with Bella and Edward’s relationship in the beginning because I saw it as the perfect image of how misplaced affection places us in harm’s way: “Bella, he isn’t good for you! He’s a vampire and you are a tasty human. How is this a good match?” But then I realized that, again, we all have the opportunity to devour one another for our selfish reasons. When we choose not to, that’s love. Hence, love is not perfect, but true and genuine. This was a huge change in my outlook on this series and for relationships in general.

– The coming power shift from fear-based to love-based relationships.
Ok, so this one was incredible. At one point in the series, we see “the powers that be” in all their sinister glory, come with muscle and manipulation to divide relationships in order to then conquer the family they viewed to be a threat to their kingdom of fear. This is such a prophetic moment as we really see the shift that must come to the earth and to Christianity: we cannot continue to build our own kingdoms, and what we do build must be founded in love. Only what is built upon organic love will endure and prevail. Fear-based rule will have to turn and walk away.

This is really exciting. I’m always thrilled to find spiritual truth in “secular” media. So in some ways, I think I’m envious of secular authors. Without any promise of theology or doctrine, truth can be heard more clearly for what it is rather than how people expect it to be packaged or worded. We don’t have to believe them, so sometimes we give them a better shot at making a point.

I love the way the Publisher puts it in his blog: God’s Word is unchanging. He will not defy His Word. He does, however, defy daily what we believe His Word to mean.