I’m a sucker for a good superhero movie. I like them all, but Superman has always been my favorite superhero. I couldn’t really tell you why, there is just something about him that resonates with me. Maybe it’s the fact that he can fly, and I’m into skydiving and death-defying stuff like that. Or perhaps it’s his alter ego reporter I connect with. Writers understand each other. His superhuman strength coupled with his super tender heart for Lois Lane definitely appeals to the romantic in me. But it wasn’t until I saw “Man of Steele” recently that I entertained the thought that maybe I had a subconscious attraction to Superman. In this epic movie, it’s revealed that the “S” on Superman’s chest was not actually the first letter of his name, as was the obvious choice for most of us. In fact, it is unveiled that the “S” is the symbol for “hope” where Superman comes from. Since hope is my absolute favorite concept, suddenly it all made sense why I love Superman so much! Some things are just meant to be.
I am drawn to anything that speaks of hope. Aren’t we all? The world can be a frightening place, and we all need to believe that we can overcome whatever obstacles are looming large at the moment. It’s that belief that, this too shall pass, that can carry me through my own fires of fear. Fear is temporary. Hope is permanent.
Another one of my favorite new superheroes is the heroine from the “Hunger Games” trilogy, Katniss Everdeen. Admittedly, when this movie first came out, I was not enthused about the basic concept – kids killing kids – I think I’ll pass. But the previews alone intrigued me enough to check it out; a 16-year-old girl sacrificing her own safety to protect her younger sister? That sounds interesting. It was. And so much more. The theme of hope practically leaps off the screen in this movie. This girl overcomes the diabolical scheme of a tyrannical government leader by outsmarting, outsourcing, and outhopeing (did I just make up a new word?) him. She fights to protect those who can’t protect themselves, and never gives up on the idea that the good guy can still win even in the darkest hour. Hope perseveres, and hope prevails. The movie’s tyrannical leader, President Snow, states, “Hope is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous.”
Dangerous is right! All you bad guys listen up: hope endangers fear! (So does love. But that’s another blog for another time.) What makes hope stronger than fear? Simply put, hope can stand on its own. Fear cannot. Fear requires a victim to have any power.
Hope whispers, you are stronger than your fear.
While hope is strengthened through multiplication, there is a single source for hope that I believe is enough to empower us all if we will draw on it. The Bible calls Jesus our “hope”. When we choose a relationship with Him, He becomes our source of hope. His power is infinite, unparalleled, and unbeatable. History proves it. Talk about a superhero. We can overcome even our greatest fears with Him as our hope. It has worked for me time and time again. Move over Superman.
As for the new heroine Katniss Everdeen on the hope scene? You can bet your popcorn I’ll be at “Catching Fire” this week cheering her on with the rest of you. While she may be fictional, I like what she represents. Apparently, all that hope makes her a dangerous young lady. I’m praying I can be that dangerous too.