Wonder Woman, Superman, Spiderman, Black Panther… the list of super heroes on the big screen just seems to keep expanding. The successful premiere of Wonder Woman surprised many. It was directed by a woman and the main character in the film is also a woman. I’ve seen the film, and it was quite entertaining! It was refreshing to see a female character save the world for a change. During this time of what seems to be a world gone completely crazy, a couple of hours pure unadulterated escapism, where a super hero can solve humongous world problems, sort of makes us wish for a super hero in the real world.
Why is there this longing on the part of people for a hero, a savior (not necessarily a godly one) to fight the battles that they think they can’t fight for themselves? Have things gotten so bad that we all find hope in watching fictional characters save us from the tyranny we feel we’re suffering in our lives? As I was watching Wonder Woman, I was being served scenes of world War I flavored with doses of Wonder Woman heroics; heroics that rendered a different version of how things unfolded during that war to end all wars. She was battling, not only Germans, but an evil demigod, who was influencing the dark side of things. From a Christian perspective, we believe that dark side entered the world stage when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate of the Tree of Knowledge. From that one act, the world has been riddled with all manner of deprivation since then. There have been those who have more power than others, and they abuse that power by putting the less powerful under their rule. On a less grand scale, there are examples of families being terrorized by abusive family members, individuals with criminal leanings perpetrating crimes against members of their own community.
Of all the dastardly acts one could think of, where the weaker is trampled on by the more powerful, I find choosing to not use all our potential the most devastating. We all have a hero inside of us. We all have the God-given ability to soar, to do wonderful things for ourselves and for all with whom we come in contact. Creativity and smarts aren’t gifts that are only given to those who are born into and reared in certain environments. If this were the case, how do we explain certain people who were born into poverty, but pulled themselves out of it. Often, these are the people who recognized at some critical point in their lives that their environment, race, gender, or any other traits for which they had no choosing would not hold them back. We look at the rags to riches stories and ask ourselves: how did they accomplish such? I proposed that they, whoever they may be, found a passion for something in life and developed their skills, knowledge and ability to the point of hero status.
We all have the potential to be heroes at something. Real-life heroes aren’t anointed with some super-human power from the gods, that’s triggered at some point in life, and brought forward to crush the injustices of society. Real-life heroes are those of us who realize that strong commitment and discipline are necessary to prepare themselves for a life of service, anointed by the grace of God. As we go through life as ordinary people loving, caring and seeing others as creations made in the image of God, we might not consider ourselves heroes, but others just might.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.