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  • Writer's pictureA is for Agape

The Superhero and Reality

As it happens sometimes in life, my son offered a perfect follow up to yesterday’s piece… Today while driving down the road, my son surprised me by asking, “Why did Jesus not use his powers to save himself?” This was in response to a conversation we had a few days ago on the death and resurrection of Christ. No, my son doesn’t pull his punches.

As a mother I am torn between just giving him the facts as presented in the Bible and of course sensoring the harsh parts to save some of his innocence. As my daughter was asleep in her carseat I decided to go with the facts. I summarized the birth and death of Christ as well as I could, while at the same time keeping in mind the age and attention span of my first born.

Feeling a little proud of my quick analysis of the story, including Jesus’ selfless request for forgiveness of those who had betrayed him, I ended my summary and sighed. Thinking the conversation was over, since my son can often be distracted while discussing his favorite car much less an involved exchange such as this one. All I truly hoped was that someday we could revisit this topic, oh, say in ten years.

But in typical fashion, when you want to move on from a subject that is when your child decides it is the issue of the day. So, we went round and round with the story for a little while. And I had all but forgotten what had begun this discussion, when my son stopped me with, “But Mom, what I really want to know is why He didn’t just use his powers?” Ah, yes, the original question comes back to me.

I felt as though I had covered as much ground as I possibly could with this obsessed five year old when an image of his favorite stories and shows came to mind. The superhero cape flying in the wind while feats of heroism go on all around. The superhero was my answer as well as his inspiration, no doubt. So, I began, “you know how superheroes are always fighting the bad guys,” I sense nods from the backseat. “Well, we can’t really be like a superhero, but we can be like Jesus.” And I go on to explain how the purpose of Christ’s life here was to experience humanity and if he had used all the powers at his disposal he wouldn’t have been human like us.

Of course, I did my best to keep it simple and interesting, not easy. And for a moment I felt as though I had gotten the message across…but then he began talking about his favorite superhero powers, invisibility, great cars, speed…I think we’ll get back to this in a few years.

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