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Well, it’s been a busy week, to misunderstate it, and there are miles to go before I crash. I hadn’t thought I would be up at this hour, and had even considered forgoing the Sunday post in a fit of sanity, but the cat is sitting on my face and I am all the way awake, so I might as well say something. And because truly, this is a completely bizarre time to be alive, you are probably not aware of an important new trend, something called “going goblin mode.” What is that you ask. Well, according to the Guardian, who literally had time to investigate:

The term embraces the comforts of depravity: spending the day in bed watching 90 Day Fiancé on mute while scrolling endlessly through social media, pouring the end of a bag of chips in your mouth; downing Eggo toaster oven waffles with hot sauce over the sink because you can’t be bothered to put them on a plate. Leaving the house in your pajamas and socks only to get a single Diet Coke from the bodega.

Gosh, I wish I had come across this on Good Friday, because am I so depressed right now:

“Goblin mode is like when you wake up at 2am and shuffle into the kitchen wearing nothing but a long T-shirt to make a weird snack, like melted cheese on saltines,” he said. “It’s about a complete lack of aesthetic. Because why would a goblin care what they look like? Why would a goblin care about presentation?”


“Goblin mode is kind of the opposite of trying to better yourself,” says Juniper, who declined to share her last name. “I think that’s the kind of energy that we’re giving going into 2022 – everyone’s just kind of wild and insane right now.”

Mmhmm, yes, “wild and insane,” yes:

Call it a vibe shift or a logical progression into nihilism after years of pandemic induced disappointment, but goblin mode is here to stay. And why shouldn’t it? Who were we trying to impress, anyway? As one #goblinmode audio says: “If you can’t handle me in goblin mode, you don’t deserve me at my slay. “It is cool to be a goblin,” Marnell says. “Everyone is so perfect all the time online, it is good to get in touch with the strange little creature that lives inside you.”

What is a “vibe shift?” Also, it’s only been two years of “pandemic induced disappointment.” Are we really going to give up and die? Also, I am so old. What does “at my slay” mean? Or maybe I don’t want to know. And…I feel like those two lines don’t go together—what does “everyone is so perfect all the time online” have to do with getting “in touch with the strange little creature that lives inside you?” I don’t want to freak anyone out, but that “strange little creature” sounds more demon than gremlin. Your “gremlin mode” might be a lot more nihilistic than you really intended.

So anyway…today is Easter. No matter whatever totally bizarre, made up (is this goblin thing derivative of gaming??), depressing and ridiculous way of imposing meaning on the bleak, death-oriented existence you have happened to cobble together, let me just remind you that Jesus did, in fact, stand up and walk out of his grave all those years ago. And this is important for you because you so obviously and desperately needed a savior. You needed someone not just to die for your plentiful and innumerable sins, but you needed that someone to rise from the dead and destroy death and the awful tiny person inside you who is trying to drag you into the grave.

Therefore, instead of giving up and not caring anymore, hobble up to the scriptures and see what God is saying to himself:

Awake, awake, put on strength,
    O arm of the Lord;
awake, as in days of old,
    the generations of long ago.
Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces,
    who pierced the dragon?
10 Was it not you who dried up the sea,
    the waters of the great deep,
who made the depths of the sea a way
    for the redeemed to pass over?

Don’t you remember how it was? You had given up. You had relinquished all hope, lying half asleep, half awake, troubled by nightmares through the interminable night. Finally, before the dawn cut across the sky, you abandoned the hope of rest and got up and gathered up so many heavy bundles of spice, and went out into the dark to go back to the scene of all your disappointments and griefs. You went together—a small community of the undone, the grieved. A companionship of dismay, a communal identity of wasted time and forsaken expectations.

Because even when you try to tell yourself that you “don’t care anymore” and that it’s fine to give up on “aesthetic” and “presentation” you can’t quite let go. Even your giving up has to be some kind of identity marker, a way of making sense and meaning when everything is bleak and terrible. You find like-minded people to carry your ruin along.

Except that in this case, rather than two years of the slow drip of whatever the last two years has been, for you, it all came crashing down in a single week. From the highest and most hopeful of highs—that the person who had cared, personally, for you, who had the power to heal and to raise the dead, would end up beaten, humiliated and himself dead was too much to take in.

You lug along your spices and whisper quietly to each other about the stone in the way, not thinking too much about what you will do after that. Maybe a single coke at a bodega will be just the thing.

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return
    and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
    they shall obtain gladness and joy,
    and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

The stone is lying there on the ground. And the cold slab is bare, empty, all those strips of cloth abandoned, no body to inhabit them. What happened? Was he stolen?

Of course he wasn’t. He is risen, just as he said.

Moreover, he has destroyed death for all who believe in him. To understate it, the implications of this resurrection should astonish you. The sin and death that were making everything unhappy and stupid for you have been trampled under the heel of the only one who has the power to destroy all disappointment and sadness forever. You don’t need to go into goblin mode. You can get up and care. You can make things beautiful, if you like, and search out something delicious to eat. You can go and find a communion not of the like-minded, but of the living. Hallelujah He Is Risen.

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

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