Left in the Dark: When “Lost” is more than just an implausible TV show

Seven minutes into last week’s episode of Lost, entitled “The Substitute,” I had a revelation.

It happened during a conversation with Richard and “Faux John Locke.”

If you don’t watch Lost, don’t worry, you don’t need to know everything about the show to understand; I’ll fill you in enough.

Basically, the island is watched over by Jacob, a mysterious, barefooted figure. Richard is somewhat of a liason between Jacob and the island. He’s a follower of Jacob. Then there’s “the nemesis.” The nemesis has taken on several forms over the course of the series but most recognizably has been seen as a black smoke monster, a man in black, and recently, in the form of John Locke, a now deceased character.

For argument’s sake and for the purpose of this blog, we’re going to assume the Jacob is the God figure here and that the smoke-monster/man-in-black/faux-John-Locke is the Satan character.

I tried to embed a Hulu clip, but WordPress wouldn’t allow me to, so watch this clip here.

Richard, I’m sorry I hit you in the throat and dragged you off the beach, but I had to do something.

What do you want?

What I’ve always wanted: for you to come with me.

Why do you look like John Locke?

I knew he’d get me access to Jacob. Because John’s a candidate. Or at least he was a candidate.

What do you mean? What do you mean “a candidate?”

Didn’t Jacob tell you any of this?

Any of what?

Oh, Richard, I’m sorry. You mean, you’ve been doing everything he told you for all this time, and he never told you why? I would never have done that to you. I would never have kept you in the dark.

And what would you have done?

I would have treated you with respect. Come with me, and I promise I’ll tell you everything.

“You mean, you’ve been doing everything he told you for all this time, and he never told you why? I would never have done that to you. I would never have kept you in the dark … Come with me, and I promise I’ll tell you everything.”

This quote from Faux Locke really struck me, especially because of my assumption that Faux Locke is the bad guy in this show these days.

How many times have we questioned God because he seems to be leaving us in the dark? We blindly follow him in hope of one day understanding and seeing what he has in store for us. So many times we have no idea why God is asking us to do what he’s asking us to do.

Why did you send me to Mizzou?
Why did you take my dad’s job away?
Why am I still single?
Why do things like Hurricane Katrina and earthquakes and Haiti have to happen?
Why is there pain and suffering in the world?

These are questions we might ask God, and while he has shown me why in some of these cases, in other cases, he’s leaving me in the dark.

Brandon Hoops’s lesson last night at The Rock even ties in here. To quote from his lesson about Sarah from The Rock’s “Messy Conversations” series that started last night:

“To journey in faith is to journey in ‘I don’t knows.'”

We don’t know, and it’s okay to not know. Richard knew it was okay to not know. He refused to go with Faux Locke because he knew Faux Locke was just trying to trick him, play his emotions, to get Richard to follow him.

Sometimes the devil is going to tell us, “Is God really not telling you why you’re doing all this? Seriously? I mean, I can tell you everything if you just follow me. I would never keep you in the dark.”

Lies. Junk tapes. Don’t listen to him.

Take Richard’s course of action: run. And when you run into Sawyer (i.e. someone else in danger of following Satan), tell him to run the other way, too.


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