This weekend I had the pleasure of seeing the final installment of the Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises. I promise there won’t be any spoilers in this post. Growing up with an older brother afforded me the opportunity to appreciate super heroes. Batman quickly became my favorite. It wasn’t until seeing Dark Knight Rises that I realized my true appreciation for Batman. For those of you who don’t know Batman’s story here is a quick synopsis:
At a young age Bruce Wayne watched as his mother and father were murdered by an armed robber. The murderer was never caught. Becoming an orphan, Bruce became a billionaire heir to his father’s technology company, Wayne Enterprises. Having no other relatives, he was placed into a boys home before being adopted by the family’s butler, Alfred. After being disgusted by the crime that plagued Gotham City Bruce Wayne vowed to keep the city clean; subsequently becoming Batman. Only Alfred and Lucius Fox knew of Bruce’s secret. In the last 25 years Batman has graced televisions screens and movie theaters. The black mask, bat symbol and cape became iconic. In 2005, credibly acclaimed screen writer and director, Christopher Nolan adopted the story of the classic super hero making it into a trilogy that explored more than comic book fantasy. From Batman Begins (2005) to the Dark Knight Rises (2012), Nolan challenges viewers to consider good versus evil. Is humanity inherently good or are we born evil? How does humanity fare in the face of evil?
In the Dark Knight Rises, Bruce Wayne is in hiding; a self-imposed exile, after taking the fall for Harvey Dent’s death. Gotham City has never been more peaceful; that is until Bane enters the scene. From there the plot thickens. As Bruce prepares to re-emerge as Batman Alfred warns him. In that moment Alfred said something that gripped my heart. Alfred shared that he longed for Bruce to give up being Batman, “[Sic]When you left for those seven years, I hoped you would never return to Gotham a place that reminds you of the plague and pain you’ve harbored.”
At that moment the tears welled in my eyes. I could relate to that pain. When I was 17 years old– fresh off the podium from my high school graduation–my father was murdered. For a decade I carried the weight and pain of losing him so unexpectedly. In the following years I encountered more and more pain resulting from emotional abuse, a broken family, betrayal and experiencing divorce. There were nights that it all felt like too much to bear. As I looked around the theater I wondered how many more people needed to leave their very own “Gothams” and are waiting for a super hero to rescue them from their pain.
When I share that I am Christian I am often confronted with the question, “How could a God so loving allow so much pain in the world?” The short answer is, unfortunately we live in a world where evil exists. This does not mean that God is any less loving or present. The thing that makes movies like Batman (The Dark Knight) and Superman (Man of Steele-2013) so popular is that they give people hope. It gives hope of being rescued from a world crippled with pain.
The truth is someone already has, but it wasn’t Batman. When I think about my darkest moments and the hurt I experienced there was always a voice–a sense of calm within me. Last year I had the greatest revelation that all of this time it was Jesus. The men who murdered my father have not been put to justice, but I was able to find forgiveness and to heal because of God’s promises through His Son:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Jesus has been my super hero. By the power of His word he has given us authority to face and overcome the evil of the world. Through the gifts of love and his spirit, Christ charges us to be assured that no matter what we face, or endure goodness will overcome evil. I know there maybe someone experiencing pain right now. I know what it feels like to question the validity of God in your darkest hour, but I promise that God will never leave you. He will be the greatest super hero you could ever imagine if you give your heart and life to him.
Look up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No–it’s Jesus!
Written by SH. @ StyleAtelier