What About That Sign in the Church in No Way Out?
Bicycle Girl discusses the deeper meaning of the quote above the door to the church in TWD Episode 609 No Way Out
I’ve been dying for The Walking Dead to return ever since Sam said “Mom,” and last night’s episode didn’t disappoint. There was so much action to take in, but just like Enid, I find myself stopping in my tracks and thinking about this Bible verse that appeared above the door.
Now, it’s not unusual for a church to have scripture painted on the wall, but the choice of verse is significant. I think it actually reflects the main theme of the episode.
The scripture basically says that even if you have faith, it’s meaningless if you aren’t willing to do work to put things to action. If you aren’t willing to act, your faith is as good as dead.
Gabriel’s powerful line later in the episode when he stood in the doorway sums it up quite nicely. He says
“We’ve been praying together. Praying that God will save our town. Well, our prayers have been answered. God will save Alexandria “
It wasn’t enough to pray for the walkers to leave or to pray for someone to rescue them. Gabriel knew that it would take all of them being willing to fight to save Alexandria. He had faith, and he acted.
When Enid saw the words on the wall, she asked Glenn to explain what he meant about losing a person after they were gone. Up until that point, Enid was only reluctantly following Glenn. She saw Alexandria as damned. She said the world was trying to die, and they should let it. His words gave her enough faith to try, and she was willing to act. Together, she and Glenn saved Maggie.
Eugene has come through before when it really mattered, but Rosita still doubted he was ready for a serious fight. When he expressed his faith in the fact that eventually they would fight their way out, she showed disbelief. Still, when the others went to join Rick, Eugene found the courage to combine that faith with works to go out and join the fight.
We also saw what happens when you have faith but can’t put it into action with Sam. He assured his mother that he could keep going. He believed that he could. But in the end, his actions couldn’t match his faith. And as a result Sam isn’t as good as dead. He and his whole family have all died.
Rick embodies the theme of combining faith with action in a different way. Throughout the series, he’s never hesitated to act. This season, he continually put plans in play to try and keep Alexandria going, but he never really had faith that the residents of the town had what it took to survive.
He launched ahead without the benefit of faith, but as he sat by Carl’s bedside, holding his son’s limp hand in his, Rick showed he had changed.
After seeing what everyone was capable of, he said he felt something he hadn’t since the day he woke up. He touched his heart, but didn’t say what the thing was.
I believe it was faith. Or hope if you want to call it that. A hope for a whole new world.
As Carl’s hand moved in his father’s it was hard not to feel hope that everything was going to be alright, but I find it hard to have faith that this will last.
While the combination of faith and works did manage to save Alexandria in No Way Out, I wonder if it will continue to be enough. In the world of The Walking Dead is it ever possible for your actions to not ultimately lead to death…
…especially when you’ve just killed some of Negan’s men.
We’ll have to wait and see.