- Mild-mannered Clark Kent
- Newsboy Peter Parker
- Recluse Tony Stark
- Millionaire Bruce Wayne
- Scrawny recruit Steve Rogers
- Scientist David Banner
- Gentle Ben Grimm
We know them all, but we wouldn’t know any if it weren’t for their alter-ego. The Superhero they turn into when they put on the suit and strap on the mask (or take off the glasses, or burst the seams on their shirts; thank goodness not their pants). All of them are mild-mannered and unassuming in real life, but when they put on the mask…Super!
Funny that Marvel comics has us rooting for these masked heroes. I wonder if we would if we didn’t know they were real people like us. Mild, timid, reclusive, shy, scrawny, nerdy, temperamental. We are tempted to put on many masks in life, attempting to be who we aren’t, hiding from things we don’t want to see, pretending so other people won’t know the real us under there. What if we used our masks to put on our “hidden” identity instead?
People may mistake me for mild-mannered Soccer mom, but really I am Fit2Finish!! (cue music for takeoff) Crusader for stronger, faster, safer athletes! I am even getting a suit made (aka putting my logo on sportswear) so I have it for training. When I put it on I will know I am a Superhero, clothed by God in shades of blue and green. No one needs to know I am Soccer Mom, Wendy LeBolt, except me.
Let’s keep it a secret. Because no one believes in a Superhero unless they have a secret identity. Unmask him! is what their nemesis always wants. Because once their identity is known, the gig is up. Their power seeps out from the suit; in street clothes, they are nothing. It’s the duality – the Super together with the human underneath – that is powerful.
Whoa! How did she know that? Wow! How did she do that? Geez! Where did that come from?
I don’t have Superpowers, just Fit2Finish knowledge and experience. But if they believe in what I am doing they discover the power in themselves. That’s the secret.
The power is not really in the mask. Don’t tell.
Superman comic books used to be all the craze when I was a kid. I read them. Okay, I looked at the pictures and followed the dialogue. I rooted for the good guy in the cape. The man of steel. Nothing could stop him, except kryptonite, and who has kryptonite? Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. And not just for show; our hero was keeping us safe from the bad guys out there. No need to worry when Superman was on the job.
All he needed was a phone booth to change in. The guy entered as mild mannered Clark Kent and emerged as Superman. Something changed when he put on the suit and the cape. Then he was ready to go fight bad guys. Waging a never-ending battle for “Truth, Justice and the American Way!”
Truth, justice and the American way…. now there’s an old-fashioned trio. Today we have more savvy. We don’t fall for comic book heroes.
- Truth? That’s malleable. I have mine; you have yours. Lets agree to disagree so we can get along.
- Justice? That’s negotiable. The ends justify the means, so let’s just skirt these rules; after all, I have good intentions.
- American way? That’s laughable. Everybody knows Americans are power-hungry and just out to make a fast buck; that’s no way to live.
What a bunch of propaganda those comic books were feeding me, an impressionable kid who didn’t know any better. But somehow this echoes in the back of my mind as I listen to the question posed to people who intend to join our church fellowship.
“Do you accept the power that God gives you to resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever the forms they present themselves?”
We all say yes as a matter of course. It’s expected. But what if we said yes and really meant it? It’d be like stepping into the phone booth. We’d be face to face with…
Do I believe that God has the power to resist evil, injustice and oppression in all its forms?
Do I believe that God offers that power to me?
Do I believe that if I say yes, I have this power, too?
Is God crazy? Do I look like Clark Kent?
In fact, in many ways I do. Mild-mannered. Glasses. And ordinary… Blogger. Mom. Sports enthusiast. Coach. Christian. Ah, that last one. Perhaps that’s the cape. When I put it on, I can do things I never thought I could do.
I’m no Superhero. But I am meant to combat evil, injustice and oppression in all its forms. The power to do that, so it seems, is available if I accept it. But that’s dangerous. Because if it’s real, I am meant to do something with it. Not just admire the costume hanging in the closet, but put it on and venture out. I have to face the bad guys. Literally, wield the forces of good against the evil that is out there. Speak up and take action against injustices I see. Advocate for the oppressed, especially those without the resources to fight for themselves.
It comes with the job, with the cape, with the “yes.” In that moment, the God of the Universe ties his Superpowers in a bow around my neck. Can I really imagine such a God? One that wages a never-ending fight for truth and justice? And trusts us to wield His power?
What if that were the world’s way?