Monday, August 1, 2011

Little Shop of Horrors and a Message of Sin

This past Saturday my cousin and I went to The Muny in St. Louis to see, "Little Shop of Horrors." I had searched for the details of this movie and wondered how they would turn this movie into a musical. Now, to begin, if you have not spent an evening at The Muny, you are missing a great experience. It has become our summertime tradition. I too had read a few reviews of this musical and most said it was a great production. A few said they really didn't enjoy it.

I have never seen the movie and honestly, I was never really interested. It just sounded like something that wouldn't grab my attention. In short version here is the story line: We find a flower shop on skid row. A flower shop that is about to go under. Who on skid row has money to purchase flowers? The shop owner has two employees. A young woman who is captivating to say the least. She is the girl every young man wants, but her heart belongs to a man who is not treating her like a young woman should be treated. He is physically and mentally abusing her. The young man working in the shop knows this information. He would like to tear apart this overly cool character, but he is that young man who doesn't really see himself as much and no way sees the potential of what he could be.

This young man creates this plant. He could have been the greatest botanist ever, but he doesn't have a high regard for himself. After all, his parents are long gone and the shop owner has raised him. What does he have to offer? So, he creates Audrey II. Naming her after the beautiful, Audrey, that he has fallen for. He feeds this plant. It's just a little thing to start out with. This little plant has an appetite. The young man begins feeding this plant his own blood. Pretty soon the plant is growing  and bringing in money. Everyone wants to see the great Audrey II and it's creator. People are amazed and want this young man on every show and paper known to man. He finally has a name for himself. The world is finally standing up and taking notice of who he is.

Pretty soon this plant needs more from this young man. So, he begins feeding him more. He begins with the boyfriend from hell, but that isn't enough. Soon, he too feeds him the shop owner. The very man who took him in and cared for him. Now, he is left to only gain more, but soon the plant also eats the girl he loves and in the end eats him also. At the end, the young man, tries killing the plant, but it has grown too large and has overcome the young man who started with only feeding it a little at a time. Soon, every home in the world has one of these plants as they have spread to reach everyone.

Now, there are a few places I would have changed things around, but then that would not have been the original story. I too pondered the thought, "Not every story has a good ending." Many times we simply cannot add nor take away from a story. It is what it is and we have to live with it, or rather die with it. Sin is nothing to play with. The more we feed our flesh the more our flesh desires.

This was the perfect picture of sin for me. As I sat and watched I pictured this plant as sin. At first it was just fed little by little and the young man wonders how he got to this position. Well, he got there one sin at a time. He allowed his worldly wants to overcome who he really was. All of his desires were coming true, but look what it cost him. Not only did his sin touch his life, but those around him. The greater this sin became the greater it desired. The more we feed our sin the greater it grows. Sin brings nothing but death. Nothing good can come from it. That is why I realized this musical ended just the way it should have. In the end this young man gave his life to the sin that seemed to start out so very small.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23

"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21

Just like the character, Seymour, we all crave what this world has to offer. We are missing something and we are searching to fill that void. Sadly, we assume that "stuff" will fill that void, but only the love of Christ Jesus can make us whole. Only He can complete us. Audrey was searching for love. A love she didn't know. She too was searching in the wrong place and once there in the grip of this man, she didn't know how to escape. Everyone in this production was searching for more. It's just the things they thought would fulfill them brought nothing but horror into their lives.

"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." 1 Timothy 6:10

This plant (sin) needed blood to survive. Seymour was willing to give his own blood and soon he was willing to give the blood of others to meet his wants of this world. Sin is costly. We don't think of the cost and that is exactly how Satan tricks us. Christ Jesus gave us life through His death. Through the blood of Christ, He cancels out all sin and makes us whole when we turn away from our sin and toward Him. We must search no more.

"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works." Titus 2:11-14

I love when I can walk away from something with a message of hope. If we turn from our sin and the evils of this world and stay focused on Christ, He will give us strength to overcome our temptation. Once we identify that sin we can lay it at the feet of Christ and return to it no more. Temptation often doesn't have the booming voice as Audrey II has. Sometimes it's just that little whisper that pulls us in. We try to ignore it, but it's still there, calling. We can answer that temptation with a big, "NO!", just by keeping our eyes on Jesus.

"I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." Galatians 5:16

"Set your mind on things above, not on things on this earth." Colossians 3:2
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