“Let’s be real. Let’s not look only to the sky for rescue. Let’s look into the face of our brothers and sisters and there we will see the Christ.”
In sagging blue tights and wrinkled red cape, I, along with many of you (Don’t be shy!) would leap over tall buildings, save the pretty woman from the evil villain, and come crashing down onto our collective childhood bedroom floors with a loud thud. I would then climb back up on the bed, hold my cape out, stare straight ahead, and take flight . . . if only for an instant. Superman was my hero. He had superpowers and he was a ladies man . . . and he could still be cool even when wearing tights!
Then, Superman broke his neck.
How could this be? Superman was able to fly over mountains, zoom through the ocean, and soar through space. Superman even stopped a meteorite from destroying the earth. He did this with his own bare hands. Then, while riding a horse, Superman broke his neck. His body came crashing down. Only this time, he could not get back up.
It seemed as if the evil villain might win.
A Real God
It is my fear that we have turned God into Superman. We are so quick to call on God to rescue us, to save us from the evil villain, to appear, cape and all, only when we need Him . . . and then, when something goes wrong, or when we feel that God has failed us, we take Him and angrily throw Him back into the toy box and pull Him out again when we are ready to play.
I thought that evil was going to win. Superman was never going to fly again. What will we ever do? . . . and then he was there . . . in a wheelchair, body broken, red cape put away. Superman was back and he was ready to fight. He was not going to let evil win. He was not going to let the world forget about people who, like himself, may never walk (or fly) again. He became the voice – their voice . . . and it was hope that took flight. That is when he became real.
It was not until, body broken, spirit exhausted, did God become real and walk among us. Superman was put back on the shelf for another day and Jesus came and dwelt among us. There was no special lighting, make-up, or body doubles.
Let’s be real. Let’s not look only to the sky for rescue. Let’s look into the face of our brothers and sisters and there we will see the Christ.
Roger Hutchison is Canon for Children’s Ministries at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Columbia, South Carolina. Also a painter, his book is entitled “The Painting Table.”