Friday, September 26, 2008

Firestorm, The Nuclear Man!

Back in 1978 Gerry Conway and Al Milgrom created a new superhero, that was actually two minds in one body. Ronnie Raymond, a High School student protester at a nuclear power plant and Dr. Martin Stein, a physicist at the same, found themselves caught in the heart of a nuclear accident, and in an instant, they were merged into one composite being with amazing atomic restructuring powers - Firestorm the Nuclear Man!

Ronnie, being conscious at the time, was the primary personality, with Dr. Stein functioning as a invisible "helper" and guide mentally. (The challenge was that whenever Ronnie called upon Firestorm, Dr. Stein vanished from wherever he was to be with Ronnie as a spectral guide. If you thought a teen could ruin your career, you had a friend in Martin Stein. ;) )

Firestorm was visually cool and a wonderful concept - a very unique hero in many ways. Just this past week, Wizard World announced the winner of their costume contest was "Firestorm" one Allen Hansard, whom I know from League of Heroes. You can see the coolness of this outfit here in full color.

But the political overtones of having a nuclear hero in the 80s - with a full grown adult living in his head - made him... well, less of a fantasy and more of a philosophy embodied. He was interesting but you weren't drawn to be him. Maybe it was just me, but I never wanted anyone to be looking over my shoulder when I was using my powers. Or constantly tutoring me how to use them. Or able to read my mind and hear my thoughts -instantly!

Such are the desires of a young man in his dream world. Give me the power, but not the Overseer. Especially a full grown geek - who wants THAT guy in your head?

Not me. Nor does anyone else.

Recently, I got a good dose of "you've offended me by talking about God" on a costuming forum from a person who would not be offended if I talk about cross-dressing, homosexual activities or being drunk. They even went so far as to say they are leaving. In context, this is a bit like running out of a multiplex because in one theater [e.g. a thread] they are presenting a Christian film.

I do not exaggerate. I created a bit of a firestorm it seems, and it was unintentional.

I understand, though. I remember the LAST thing I ever wanted to hear - especially if I was getting close to having sex - was some IDIOT talking about "The Almighty" or "the Lord"! When I was doing something I knew in my heart God did not approve of, I wanted no "holy Joes" around me or anywhere I frequented.

That was before I, carnal fool that I was, ran into Jesus myself. Before my becoming one with Him and getting Him in my head 24/7.

But the simple fact was this: Jesus knew me before I knew Him.

Look at this woman in this passage in John 4:13-30. She is me.

This is from Eugene Peterson's The Message, a concept-for-concept translation I rarely use, but its perfect for today.)

Jesus said [to the woman at the well], "Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life."

The woman said, "Sir, give me this water so I won't ever get thirsty, won't ever have to come back to this well again!"

He said, "Go call your husband and then come back."

"I have no husband," she said.

"That's nicely put: 'I have no husband.' You've had five husbands, and the man you're living with now isn't even your husband. You spoke the truth there, sure enough."

"Oh, so you're a prophet! Well, tell me this: Our ancestors worshiped God at this mountain, but you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place for worship, right?"

"Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither here at this mountain nor there in Jerusalem. You worship guessing in the dark; we Jews worship in the clear light of day. God's way of salvation is made available through the Jews. But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you're called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter.

"It's who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That's the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration."

The woman said, "I don't know about that. I do know that the Messiah is coming. When he arrives, we'll get the whole story."

"I am he," said Jesus. "You don't have to wait any longer or look any further."

Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked. They couldn't believe he was talking with that kind of a woman. No one said what they were all thinking, but their faces showed it.

The woman took the hint and left. In her confusion she left her water pot. Back in the village she told the people, "Come see a man who knew all about the things I did, who knows me inside and out. Do you think this could be the Messiah?" And they went out to see for themselves.


Now, technically, Jesus did not tell her everything about her - but folks, anyone who knows all your sex partners knows you pretty darn well!

This scared her badly. She took off running.

And I think that is what I do to other people sometimes (and so does anyone who is led by the Spirit). We have no malicious intent, but the Spirit of God knows the Truth - and uses us to speak at just a certain moment in time to a certain person.

What would I say to my fellow poster who is afraid of "God-talk"?

I understand. God is scary.

That is why He sits down with us and talks plainly. He wants us to know Him and be saved from the lies we are living.

I got saved, and I am in the process of being saved. From myself. From others. From lies. From illusions. From fear. From anger.

From hate.

I send my prayers after the one who was offended enough to leave.

May you find Jesus and get that "living water" of His love today. Because at the core of our being is a nuclear fire of thirst and desire that can only be quenched with His love.

Amen.

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