Superhero

Yesterday, I met Superman on aisle 9 at the grocery store. Well, okay, it wasn’t actually Superman … it was a six year old boy wearing a Superman costume. He ran up and down the aisle with his arms stretched out in front of him in a flying pose, shouting, “Look out! I am going to save the world!” I, along with several other amused shoppers, carefully steered our carts out of Superman’s way so as not to divert him from his important mission.

I smiled all the way home, thinking about the unabashed wonder and belief of childhood. The young superhero’s grocery store mission reminded me of a playground mission from my grade school years. During recess, my girlfriends and I would bobby-pin cardboard cat ears to our hair and chase the boys around the schoolyard, believing ourselves to be the far superior ‘Cat Women’ to their ‘Bat Men.’ Not only was it great fun, we truly believed that each of us had a superhero living inside, just waiting for the opportunity to fight evil and save the world.

This precious belief is one that should not … cannot … be abandoned as we move into adulthood. Now, I don’t mean that we should show up at the grocery store wearing a spandex superhero costume. No. But we should be mindful of and embrace the fact that we are, in every sense, supernatural beings, because we are the children of a supernatural God.

Consider for a moment all the popular movies born of Marvel Comics adventures—my personal favorite is The Avengers. Our culture is drawn to these classic stories of heroes with superpowers who bravely step into the battle between the forces of good and evil. But the truth behind these stories is far from make-believe. These stories speak deeply to the truth buried inside each one of us—the truth of our supernatural heritage. In scripture, Jesus provides an amazing clue to the power we possess when he tells us, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it.” ~ John 14:12-14

It’s true! Like the superheroes we have long admired, WE possess stunning powers with which we can fight evil and help to save the world.

I may not have a mechanically-altered heart and a flying iron suit like Iron Man, but I do have a transformed heart and am clothed head to toe in the Ephesians 6 armor of God. I am suited for battle.

Unlike the wild, untamed Thor, I can’t raise my arm to the sky and cry out to summon a mythical hammer. But I can raise my arms skyward and cry out my prayers to summon the mighty host of heaven. I am armed for battle.

And, as passionate emotion turns a gentle scientist into a fearsome beast called the Hulk, so the fire ignited in me by the Holy Spirit allows me to fearlessly smash the strongholds of the enemy with my Gospel witness. I am engaged in battle.

The war between the forces of good and evil is epic and real, and as heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven, each of us brings a magnificent, God-given power with us to the frontlines.

My little six year old friend at the grocery store had it right all along. Suit up, grab your weapon and go out to save the world. And Thor, should you ever decide to pay a visit to aisle 9, I wouldn’t be at all disappointed …

 

Prayer: Lord, keep me ever mindful of the power I possess because you live within me. I can do all things through you, even the seemingly impossible.

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