Monday, August 17, 2015

Man of Steel: Meek Isn't Weak

"You have the right to remain silent, if you
give up that right, anything you say may
be found on the Internet..."
I re-watched Man of Steel last Friday night for want of nothing better to view, and saw something so patently obvious, I am almost ashamed to write about it. However, a poster on the C.S. Lewis and Inklings Facebook Group brought up a fine quote by Lewis and it prompted me to respond and before I knew it, I'd brought Superman in--more accurately, the Man of Steel.

The C. S. Lewis quote is "Humility is not thinking of ourselves less. It is thinking less of ourselves." The poster liked the quote, but saw it had limitations. I think I understand - you can be thinking a lot about others - but not in a good way. Lewis is, however, encouraging self-forgetfulness over self-flagellation, an all-too-common ailment in religion to make us right before God instead of accepting the gift of Christ: utter forgiveness. "You're Paid In Full, bro," Jesus might say. "Now go love the people you meet and tell them I will make everything new." [If you do not know Jesus personally and supernaturally, you need to.]

All that reminded me of something we do: how easily we confuse having strength with being strong and forceful. We confuse feminism and femininity, lust with love and labor with work. It takes a little maturity and experience to understand the differences and the goals.

Hollywood does not help one damn bit. Normally.

But then we get Man of Steel and we are forcibly shown the difference between weakness and meekness.

General Zod shows up in Earth orbit and asks for Kal-El to be delivered to him. To prevent Zod's aggression and protect the people of Earth, Kal-El turns himself in to the U. S. Army.

He is marched down a hallway by soldiers to a holding room, seen in all the trailers. As he comes in, Lois Lane sits with him. "You let them handcuff you?" she asks, incredulously, knowing his raw power.

"Wouldn't be much of a surrender if I didn't," admits Kal-El with a je ne sais quoi of a demi-god walking through mortal paces. [Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7clp3s-15I ]

I love that scene. It is practical, charming, silly, childish, noble and funny all at the same time.

They have tied Silly String(tm) to the ankle of Godzilla and said "STAY!"

What's makes it funny is that Godzilla says "O.K."

If you are a Christian, and a Believer, you just saw the Jesus Style.

Here is the Man-God right after he calmed a storm, and cast out demons so strong they broke every chain to hold them:

Luke 8:22-38
Jesus Calms the Storm 
22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. 23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”
Jesus Restores a Demon-Possessed Man 
26 They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee.27 When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29 For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”“Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.
32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. 33 When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.34 When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35 and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured.37 Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them,because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

Do you see how much raw power Jesus had? He told the storm what to do [Weather Control, you Supers geeks]. He told the demons to depart [Exorcism, you AD&D geeks] and he was fearless in confronting them [Immune to Fear, whatever system you like].

But He saw they were scared of Him. Terrified. They BEGGED him to leave, like the demons BEGGED Him to cast them into the swine instead of Hell.

And Jesus did as they asked.

That is meekness, personified.

That is Jesus, the Lord of Creation. The Real One. The one shown by scripture. My Lord and your Lord, if you ask Him to be so.

Thus endeth the lesson--the difference between meekness and weakness.

Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment