What we can learn from Batman

Our Easter began with a service by Watson Lake and ended with Batman vs. Superman. The first was beautiful and peaceful–the breeze and sun couldn’t have 20150803_092538been more lovely. On a perfectly placed current soared a bald eagle which was a special treat for my son who had recently asked when he would see one again.

The second half of our day was exciting–a few hours of grown up time is a rare gift, especially when it’s a movie with an edge to it. Lecture me not, because I’m okay with a little violence and fantasy. It actually got me thinking about the whole spectrum of superhero fandom. Why do we get so excited about characters dripping in unreality? Why do we embrace these stories soaked in red capes and heroes that can fly? Our culture can’t get enough–we arrange babysitters for our kids so we can get away to watch grown-up movies which, in reality, are childlike stories.

So what really comes with Easter and Batman?

This is where Christians fail to be like kids (don’t laugh–it’s an order from God Himself: “And he said: Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3)
It’s not good to be afraid of fantasy (what is it, really?). It’s not okay to put ideas of God in a box over here, away from the exciting stuff that happens over there. Do you remember what happened after the Resurrection?

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2:1-4

What else happened after the crucifixion?

“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[a] went into the holy city and appeared to many people.” Matthew 27:51-53

This is the kind of stuff we put over there, in fantasy, but it’s not. It’s reality friends (okay, except Batman, but it’s a good movie). That supernatural world we crave is here!

Maybe God sent the eagle over our Easter celebration because a child approached life with the perspective God wants us to have. Who knows? Maybe we’d see more of God’s superpowers if we didn’t write things off as coincidence. Maybe we’ve forgotten who God is and who we are.


What do you think?


Superheros and Authentic Fashion

Parenting is perpetual construction. It’s the work truck driving adjacent the joy curb, always working—reworking, and an occasional hopping out to stretch the legs. But there is no sabbatical for moms and dads. If there’s not someone in the lane next to you telling you how to drive, it’s yourself—sometimes I lay awake, going over my list of speed bumps:

I said too much there. I didn’t say enough here. I focused too much on the dirty house today. I’m not that mother who can multitask her child and the whole school at the same time—and to be perfectly honest, I don’t want to be—that would be as exciting as doing a math test.

But amidst all the chaos, there are two things I feel good about:

My kids know that Jesus is the only real Superhero.
I don’t make them match their clothes.

Wait-what? Yes, I’m proud of the fact that I let them wear fuchsia polka dots with camouflage pants. Stripes with crazy patterns. A spiderman shirt with batman pants (so as I am writing this, Microsoft word wants me to capitalize spiderman, but not batman—what’s up with that?).

Anyway, why do I let them walk in public looking like they dressed themselves? Because they don’t need to dress for others approval. They need to know it’s okay to be them. They’ll face enough pressure from their peers in a few years—I want them to feel good about making their own choices because they were made like this (by the real Superhero):

For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14

They weren’t knit together by Prada’s marketing team. They weren’t wonderfully made to feel pressured to have surgeons nip and tuck their uniqueness away.

If God’s works are wonderful…they are already beautiful. They need

My little beauty

My little beauty

encouragement to be them. Who am I to make them feel like they have to fit my standards of beauty, or the standards of the fashion industry, or Hollywood?

Here’s an excerpt from Alissa Quart in her book Branded:

“…many of the teens and tweens I have come across who are drenched in name-brand merchandise are slightly awkward or overweight or not conventionally pretty. While many teenagers are branded, the ones most obsessed with brand names feel they have a lack that only superbranding will cover over and insure against social ruin.”

And it all starts with drawing attention to their appearance.

I listened to an interview at my mom’s group a few weeks ago. Wisdom from a former Victoria’s Secret Model. She said the only reason she got into the modeling industry (and nude modeling) was because her father encouraged her in only one thing: her looks. It took her decades to realize that she had real value.

The only One children need to be concerned with pleasing is the Superhero who laid down His life for them. If they ask you why God made them look a certain way, tell them:

“God saw all that He made, and it was very good.” Genesis 1:31 (emphasis mine)

Faith and Imagination

A childhood friend lived in a house with a hidden passageway. It opened from the kitchen, curtained and dark. It was lined with saddles, a shadow walk with wooden floors a cowboy could tread with his spurs on. At the end was a bookcase full of mysterious volumes all dusty and dim.

Outside were horses and goats, a barn with antique parts that looked like they came straight from a western musical. The rutted driveway connected with a creek where we donned frilly swimsuits and swam along the cottonwood lined waterway until it grew stagnant. One time a snake swam alongside us. There was nothing like a terrifying adventure to paste in the memory album.

It was a childhood kingdom.

Looking back a few decades later I can see the house in need of a remodel, the add-on that I thought was a secret passageway and the barn full of rusty threats.

This is how I often see my own children’s world and the need to keep them from all danger.

Maybe I’m not supposed to focus on the dangers…I might really be a knight, ready to slay the dragons but not forsaking their adventure, their right to believe the unbelievable.

Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall 100_2229not enter it. Luke 18:17

When I was a young child, fear brought me into my parent’s bedroom during a sleepless night. Every shadow was a villain, every creak of the house shouted danger. Lying in their bed, I could see into their bathroom when that night of all nights produced a scene I still can’t explain. In the mirror above the sink, bright yellow somethings drip-dripped into the sink like fluorescent yellow honey, and then stopped. My parents were lost to snores and dreams and I just stared at that mirror until exhaustion finally gave me rest.

I told them about it the next day. “The sink was probably not turned off all the way”, said one of my parents. “But it was high on the mirror”, I said. I liked my brother’s explanation best. “It was an angel pouring good luck into the sink.”

Our cats, of course, told me nothing, as well as the dog, but in my childish perspective, I knew that animals sensed things we could not. Those invisible things they followed with their eyes, the growls that came ten minutes before someone arrived at our door.

I bet my friends horses knew all kinds of things about the secret passageway and the mysteries within the old barn that seemed to hold such magic.

Maybe if we had faith like a child, animals would talk. How quickly we forget the one that did:

Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said…Numbers 22:28

Or superheroes would really protect us in the face of danger:

So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6

Maybe the imagination of youth is just a taste of what could be if we saw through eyes of faith…eyes of a child. Maybe that secret passageway opened up my imagination, rooted the love of story-telling inside because maturity makes us forget the unbelievable…that sometimes life is full of hidden unbelievables that are ,in reality, truth.

Imagination is not just the mark of childhood, but a gift, the ability to see what is beyond human capability.

Do you have any amazing childhood stories? Tell us in the comments.