Each morning three-year-old Ray asked his mom to pin a bath towel to the shoulders of his size two T-shirt. In Ray’s mind, the towel was a brilliant blue and red magic cape. Outfitted in that cape, Superman Ray’s days were packed with adventure and daring escapades. When his mom enrolled him in kindergarten the teacher asked his name. “Superman,” Ray kindly answered. The teacher smiled and repeated the question. Ray repeated his answer: “Superman.” The teacher’s voice grew cold. “I will have to have your real name for the records,” she said. Ray hunched closer, patted his frayed cape, and answered, “Clark Kent.”
On his birthday our son and his wife often invite us to watch a superhero movie. And to bring our wallets. We’re not alone. Last year humans shelled out close to $3 billion for movies like Spiderman 41, in which he swoops in to rescue little kids, buses, cats, and damsels in distress.
Movie studios have had few original ideas since 1973, so they crank out comic book-inspired reruns with titles like “Spandex Man to the Rescue.”
As a kid, I wondered if I was a superhero who hadn’t yet discovered my superpower. These days I dream of being Captain Cranium—a bald guy who bounces sunlight off his head to blind villains, thaw frozen turkeys, and grow tomatoes. My undoing is ice cream. Every superhero has their weakness.
At the heart of each of these movies is a redemption story. We mortals can’t save ourselves. We need a hero who can crush evil and rescue us.
When I was a kid, my mother introduced me to the ultimate superhero. After she answered plenty of questions, I knelt by my Styrofoam bed and prayed a simple prayer of faith in Jesus, the one who came to seek and to save those who are lost (Luke 19:10), the one who became like me so he could make me more like him. Sometimes it’s slow going, but he’s never left, he’s still at work.
I hope he has walked across the screen of your heart. Connect with us here at Laugh Again if you’d like to know more.
As for me, I shall settle for being a superhero to my wife. I may not be able to thaw a frozen turkey with my cranium, but my superpowers will include opening jars she cannot and remembering her birthday.
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