how (ordinary/super) heroes are made

Some people grow up reading the Bible. Others grow up reading Harry Potter. I happened to grow up reading comic books.

Yep, I said it out loud.

Back then it wasn't a big deal. Then some time after that it became a big deal - you were a geek for doing this. And then now it's not quite a big deal again.

Super heroes are popular - so much so that Captain America's movie release weekend bumped Harry Potter down to second place in its second week. (Although Harry Potter probably isn't too worried, given its opening weekend)

I've always known that following these fictional adventures - Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Captain America - brought into the focus of my life the reality that I am here for a reason.

We all are, actually - it involves living in a much larger Story than "me, me, me."

This week at a large convention called "Comic Con" the star of the upcoming movie "The Amazing Spider Man" put it rather profoundly and personally:

Good fiction wakes us up to the hidden truths of this world. There is a reason we all cheer on the "good guy" because deep down inside we know that there is a "good" underneath the "bad" in our world. There is also a reason why we ache over tragedy, for we know that tragedy shouldn't exist in the first place - as if hidden within us there is an awareness that this world shouldn't have been broken by humanity in the first place.... it started out good and should be that way again.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)

I'm not sure what you grew up with, but I hope it was something that awakened a calling inside of you to be the hero that this world needs. Perhaps you jumped too quickly into horror movies and haven't gotten past that sense of feeling scared around every corner of life, or maybe you were exposed to sex and nudity in ways that have always made you feel like your body is nothing more than a biological toy.

Unfortunately today's comics have turned in those directions, so with rare exception do I support them. There are still some solid "younger kids" comics that keep the adventure and the innocence alive.

Maybe that's why I started writing this post in the first place. Perhaps we are now the rare heroes who need to not only join into the pages of the Story - God's Story - and likewise be the very pages of Truth in a world of fiction. The people around you need to know what is worth fighting for, and if you know... if you truly know the values of the Reality that exist in the thought bubbles of our thought bubbles... then it's time to start sharing it and living it.

With great power comes great responsibility.

(You knew that was coming, didn't you?)
"Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God's living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it." (2 Corinthians 3:2-3, MSG)

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