But perhaps Christopher Nolan was feeling too empathic with our titular hero and was unable to disassociate enough from the events to give us an epic ending, but rather provided us with a better glimpse of the heroic soul. I say this because I cannot imagine doing a film after a close co-worker dies. I think there is a sadness hanging over this film that Nolan wrote easily, using Michael Caine as his voice of pain and wisdom in the character of Alfred Pennyworth.
It just ain't a happy movie. I was relieved when it was over, because it was over for Bruce Wayne. He does not have to suffer to be the hero anymore.
And then of course, something terrible happened at one of the movie theaters on opening night.
An advanced student of neurosciences, having recently dropped out of the Ph.D program, decided to arm himself and put on body armor and kill the innocent fans who had come out for premiere midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. He came in as a ticket holder, ducked out an Exit door, propped it open, got his gear, guns and some tear gas and gas mask. So outfitted, he came back in, set off the tear gas and began firing, killing 12 people and wounding 58 others.
I don't want to talk about him, though. I want to talk about what happened this past week at the hospital in Colorado where so many victims where recovering.
Batman visited them.
Seriously - Christian Bale, of his own accord - came to the hospital and visited the patients, his fan-boys & girls who love the Dark Knight!
You know, the more I think about that - and how legally/PR/worldly-wise it might have been to stay away - the better I like Mr. Bale. He really caused a stink with some of his explosive reactions in the past, but he also seems to have been humbled by them. He rose to the occasion, so to speak and yes, that pun is VERY intentional.
I know this may sound cheap, but I think when we get hit by evil, by villainy or get greatly wounded we are not as surprised as you might think. We are being cheated - AGAIN. Something we thought would be wonderful - a marriage, a new job, a special event - turns on its head to be something tragic and horrible.
This may sound strange but I think we can accept the horrible things by gritting our teeth and bearing down a bit harder. We like to show how tough we are; how unmoved we are by cruelty.
What really kills us is kindness.
If someone we care about comes by to comfort us - especially someone we honestly admire or adore - we are taken off-guard. We are humbled.
We may even cry. 'Cause then - then it's OK - we don't have to just endure. We have someone who put us before their own needs - or schedule - or social standing.
Dr. Steve Brown said it this way, "A child doesn't cry when it's lost at first. It cries when the parent shows up and rescues them. Because then the child knows it is SAFE."
Fear may get us through a tragedy. But it take love to heal us afterwards.
I think Jesus is like that. I think when we are hurting and need Him, He waits to see if we can bear Him showing up. I think the ONLY thing that prevents Him appearing is our pride.
None of Christian Bale's 'Batman' fans in the hospital thought he SHOULD come visit them.
No one imagined he would.
But when the man they came to see arose and spent his time and effort to see THEM?
Well... let us say it this way: that dark night in Aurora allowed Christian Bale to rise up and truly become a 'Dark Knight.'
I think Jesus understands the joy of the compassion that so often surprises us very much.