You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. Genesis 50:20
These are the familiar words from the beginning of the iconic TV show Twilight Zone. I loved that show, which unfortunately aired late on Friday nights when I was a kid. I loved the show, but when it was over, I had to run upstairs to my bedroom to get to the safety of lights and comfort. Yes, some of the shows really creeped me out.
And I wouldn’t have missed an episode of that show for the world!
I write about the show, and its creator Rod Serling, because he was born this time of year- on Christmas Day, 1924.
Rod Serling, was a World War II veteran who served in the South Pacific, and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart for his service. The war had a deep effect on him, and I am guessing that he had what we might now diagnose as PTSD. Serling seemed to write in the science fiction genre in order to exorcise some of the demons of war he may have fought. He was able to get his points across in this genre and it was accepted as genius. I think he truly was a genius.
Earlier, he had written Emmy award winning shows like Requiem for a Heavyweight which helped to bring serious social and interpersonal issues to the light of public awareness. Serling was able to work out his emotional pain in a creative way. He turned his pain into our gain.
The Twilight Zone series still impacts our culture, even though the show left the airways in the late 1960’s. Syndication, and media like YouTube and the SY-FI channel keep this marvelous series alive in the public. It still influences audiences after all these years.
I cannot know if Rod Serling would know how his writing has continued to influence the culture decades later. His courage and writing genius responded to his emotional pain in a creative and healthy way.
Thanks Rod Serling. Maybe you are standing in the corner, commenting as we acknowledge your impact on us…
Prayer: Lord, help us all to continue to redeem pain into gain, Amen