Jun 22, 2006

hero - part 1

Can I just tell you how geeked I am about the new Superman movie? My wife and I are importing my mom two states away via Amtrak in order to have her watch the kids so we can go to the midnight show. And let me qualify by saying that this is the opening showing (which means all the true fans will be there) on an IMAX screen with 20 minutes of the movie in 3D.

Um... may I please pass out now?

I know that Superman is a popular icon. Sure... Bon Jovi has a tattoo on his arm, Nicholas Cage named his kid Kal-El, and I have a dog named C.K. (figure it out). But I don't care if he's popular to anyone else. He's MY hero - has been since I was a kid. You can track pictures of me growing up with several piece of Superman marketing, costumes, and action figures all over. In my home office (which is another blog I'll get to) I have a life-sized cardboard stand-up of Clark Kent turning into Superman. Yeah... it's that bad.

There is something about seeing your hero in action. When I was a kid I remember seeing the Superman, Star Wars, and Indiana Jones movie and being absolutely captivated by the larger-than-life protagonists and the villains they conquered. Something comes out of you in those moments that lets you believe that there is hope in the world... good will win and evil will lose.

Then you get a little older... and the size of the movie screen shrinks. Pretty soon the big theaters that used to be shrines become mutliplexes with 30 screens the size of a shoebox. Great movies that stand on their own are hard to find, for even the superhero epics become special-effects driven CGI spectacles. And if by chance one movie does well, the producers churn out cheesy sequels (can anyone say Matrix 2 & 3?) before the actors and audience age beyond the window to do so.

Pretty soon... a hero is hard to find.

Ever feel that way?

In the absence of a hero, the world gets cynical, critical, and self-absorbed. A hero keeps our focus on the greater things and the greater story. He keeps us safe, or at least helps us to feel that when life is dangerous we can be safe within the eye of the storm.

Sometimes my real hero - Jesus Christ - is hard to find, too.

Ever feel that way?

Just to set the record straight, he's not the one who hides. Rather, we are... we see it in Genesis 3 when Adam & Eve duck behind the trees to distance themselves from God. When he calls them on it, only then do they dialogue with him.

Sometimes we're the ones who distance ourselves from our Hero.

Ever feel that way?

Today I wasted three hours - maybe more - of my boys' lives. I popped on the TV so they would be occupied while I laid on the couch. I was in a funk. Ever get into a funk?

They probably didn't mind seeing several hours of Playhouse Disney. But I did. At least, after the fact.

And so tomorrow my boys and I are spending some time together. It won't be on an IMAX screen, and I'm not sure that a lot of 3D will be involved. In fact, I'm quite sure that it will happen closer to 12 noon than 12 midnight.

But maybe... maybe it will still be a larger-than-life time. Maybe by knowing my love for them through some crazy adventure we'll do in the woods they will know that there is a real Hero who loves them... is fighting for them... and laboring to show them that even in a broken and fallen world there is hope.

And maybe He'll remind me of that, too.

Up, up, and away...
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:8)

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:11-16)

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)


Cindy Kingsbury said...

Wow! This was an amazing blog and so true. I've always loved Superman too, especially with Christopher Reeves. I'm anxious to read more of your future blogs.

Joe Sauder said...

Talk about "Superman", how about in Ephesians; "Now unto Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think" "according to the POWER that works in Us" (The Holy Spirit power!). When we yield to the Spirit we can be filled with the Power of God which knows no bounds. Do we dare believe it?

Thurman8er said...

So funny. I click on your link and read that opening paragraph, with the strains of the "Superman Returns" soundtrack blasting through my Klipsch speakers. It's by Ottman, but it combines Williams' familiar themes (well, everything but that annoying "Otis" theme) with some new, and quite good, themes by Ottman. As I type this, I'm pretty sure that Superman is saving the world.

We grew up with it, didn't we? The comics, George Reeves, finding old Max Fleischer cartoons and marvelling at how they did that. And then, Donner puts him on the big screen and I'll be good-gosh-darned if he doesn't look...just...right.

He's the big red S, Man! Just two days ago, I happened on the Seinfeld episode where they saw George's dad hanging around with a guy with a cape. George started to go off on him when Jerry stood up, hands akimbo, and said he'd be darned if he'd let anyone talk that way about a man in a cape! "Superman wears a cape!" he argued.

Can't wait.

Can't wait.

Can't wait.

Tony Myles said...

Me, too!

Me, too!

Me, too!