Commentary: God & Tombstone

I was re-watching the western Tombstone the other day, which is the loosely-based story of Wyatt Earp and his famous gunfight at the OK Corral. In a phenomenal scene between Earp and his friend Doc Holliday, this exchange is had:

Wyatt Earp: What makes a man like Ringo, Doc? What makes him do the things he does?

Doc Holliday: A man like Ringo has a great empty hole through the middle of him. He can never kill enough, or steal enough, or inflict enough pain to ever fill it.

Wyatt Earp: What does he need?

Doc Holliday: Revenge.

Wyatt Earp: For what?

Doc Holliday: Being born.

From a theological perspective, this short exchange is incredibly profound, for it is true that some men, deep down, feel perpetually empty, and they thus hate the fact that they were born. They want revenge for their birth! And yet, they can’t have it. They are either too scared to end their life directly and/or they wish to stay alive just so that they can inflict pain. And so, in the latter case, they rebel against God’s creation and seek to harm it in every way possible–and sometimes, this even includes themselves, which is why they often slowly destroy themselves with drugs, alcohol, etc. But at the same time as they feel empty, their pride and/or desire for autonomy prevents them from accepting the one thing, namely God, that will fill that hole that they can’t fill. So they rage against the Light and its works, even as the Light is the only thing that could quell their rage. And, from a Christian perspective, it is indeed interesting to think that there are some individuals who exist like this.

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