Going Back For Merle

Merle Dixon.merle

He’s the guy that’s always around in a story that you love to hate, but also kind of enjoy watching.  He’s rude, he spouts out racial slurs, he beats the dog snot out of teammates at the drop of a hat…and he thinks he’s in charge and the world revolves around him.

Enter Rick.

A brief exchange takes place that ends with Rick pinning Merle to the ground and hand-cuffing him to a steel pipe on the roof.

The group realizes they have to get out of dodge and they hatch an elaborate plan to get a U-Haul down the road and pick everyone up and vamoose. I won’t even go into the details of this scene and how that happens, but anywho, they get the truck and radio back to the group to be ready to scram.  One of the group runs up stairs and takes the key to get Merle. It’s actually the guy who Merle nearly beat to death about an hour before…and as he goes to release Merle one of those once-in-a-lifetime, couldn’t do it even if you tried, slow-mo sort of things and drops the key down a drain.

T-dog makes the choice and leaves Merle on the roof…but not before locking the door securely to keep the zombies out.

Fast forward>>>> 

Rick is reunited with his wife and son and things are swell and neat-o in Suburbia.  However, Merle’s brother, Daryl isn’t pleased to hear what’s happened to his brother.

Rick explained that he was endangering the lives of the group, he was out of line, and was a general thug…but then Rick’s conscience hits him…he’s got to go back for Merle. The group isn’t even remotely happy – they all borderline hated Merle so to them it’s better this way.  Rick is persistent. The group asks why he is willing to put so many other lives on the line for Merle Dixon…

There’s an exchange between Shane and Rick.  Shane says,

“Merle Dixon?  That guy wouldn’t give you a glass of water if you were dying of thirst.

Rick then says,

“What he would or wouldn’t do doesn’t interest me.  I can’t let a man die of thirst and exposure.  We left him like an animal caught in a trap – that’s no way for anything to die, let alone a human being.”

This is one of those themes that the show hits on over and over:  What’s the Value of a Life?

How much should we care about the other guy (or girl) when our backs are against the wall?  What lengths should we go to to save a life?  Is there a point in which we wash our hands of the situation?  Is there a time to just forget about someone because you don’t like them or because they’ve hurt you or your loved ones?

I don’t think so.

God speaks volumes to us on this issue  Now don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about abortion (in this post anyway) but I need you to understand something:  Being pro-life goes way beyond the abortion issue. It extends to every area of life; our friends, our loved ones…our enemies…it extends to the value of every single human being on the planet…to you and to me.

God made me – you…each of us “in his own image” (Gen. 1:27).

David says

 “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Ps. 139:16, NIV)

What does that mean?  That means that for every single person born, God has a plan for them.

God even knows us before we are born:

For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb.1I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. (Ps. 139:14-15, NIV)

It goes way deeper than that: God tells the prophet Jeremiah this:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew youbefore you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jer. 1:5, NIV)

So if that’s true, if God has invested this much time in not only putting the natural processes in place for reproduction; but to personally, intimately hand-craft each and every single one of us…how much then is a life truly worth?


You can’t put a tag on it; it’s so incredible and exhaustively expensive that you can’t even begin to fathom the value that the Almighty God has placed on you.

Not just on you…but on me; on the people who annoy you… on enemies…on your enemies. Even that guy who cut you off on the way to work this morning…yeah, him too.

So who are the Merle Dixon’s in your life?  Who is the one you’ve given up on? Who is the one that you’ve washed your hands of?  Who is the one you left chained on a roof somewhere? Don’t you think their life is worth saving…even if they don’t thank you or can’t repay you?

It’s time to go back and get Merle. So when are you leaving?

4 thoughts on “Going Back For Merle

  1. Again, you’ve made me think. Rather than thinking only of how we may need to let a person go because we feel they are destructive to us, we need to think about how we can help them be less destructive…. Even if prayer is the only way we can do it. It changes ones view on this when you understand that they too are a child of God and who are we to measure their worth. Good stuff


    1. It’s hard to love the unlovable, right? but when we think about it, that’s just what Jesus did for us – STILL does for us. We have to come alongside the hurting, the dying, and even the angry and annoying. Leave no man behind.


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