To celebrate the much anticipated opening of “The Dark Knight”, the sequel to Batman Begins, I am revisiting my very first post on Sacrosanct Gospel – “Batman Unmasked”. This article was first posted on March 12, 2008. I’m keeping the comments from the origninal post because I felt there were some pretty good responses. I would love to have you add a few more. Please understand in the article that I really am not ‘slamming’ Batman. I am very sympathetic to my boyhood hero. I know him well. He is just like me. Well, not completely. He has considerably more money, he is better looking, and he is younger. Why is it that I age and he doesn’t?
I also want to make it widely known that my family and I already have our tickets to tonight’s midnight opening. We will be sitting with many other friends from our church, popcorn in hand, ready to be creeped out by the late Heath Ledger’s version of the Joker. Did I say Batman was my ‘boyhood’ hero? Oops I guess the Bat’s out of the Bag! Ha Ha hahahh haa (Insert Joker’s laugh here).
So without any further mildew, for your intellectual provocation, “Batman Unmasked”.
March 12, 2008
Today I’m beginning an online blog that I wish to share with a few of my friends. I may use a strong word or two from time to time, not to offend, but to hopefully make a point. I don’t know if this blog will be something that will benefit you personally. I hope it will. I hope to write some things that are provocative that will make you think or move you closer to Jesus. Sometimes I’m going to write about what is happening inside me and ask you to pray for me. I’ll try to be honest, but I’m accustomed to ‘people pleasing’, so bear with me.
The truth of the matter is that I am wimp. A bonafide girl (I mean no offense to females). It may surprise you to hear this about me, but if you know me well, really well, you know that it is true. Don’t get me wrong. I talk a good game. I talk tough. Rough and rowdy. In fact, my favorite movies help to solidify the facade – I love Braveheart, Gladiator, The Unforgiven, The Outlaw Josey Wales, and Saving Private Ryan. I watch lots of football and ultimate fighting and I drive badly. I do all of this because I like to try to create the belief that I am a risk taker. Maybe I’m trying to convince myself. It doesn’t work. I know the truth. I like to see other people take risks. I admire watching risk-takers from a safe distance. But I never want to be personally involved. It’s not for me. I always play it safe. I fake it. I hold on to the side of the pool in the deep end and pretend like I know how to swim. But faking it doesn’t last. Sooner or later, when the stakes are raised, I fold. I get out of the game. That’s why I stink at poker and at investing and at prayer.
I like control. That’s the bottom line. I like to know what’s going to happen next. I like guarantees. I want to know where I am and where I’m going. Maybe most people are like me. I’m not saying it’s wrong to be safety conscious. But most people who are safety oriented, admit it. They simply say, “Yeah, I’m going to play it safe.” They lock their doors, buckle their seat belts, and buy insurance. There’s nothing wrong with that.
What is wrong…is being a complete wussy, sissy, wimp, and then lying about it to yourself and to the whole world. That’s what I do. That’s wrong. So here I am. I’m coming clean. I repent. I’m a wimp. A chicken. A poser. A faithless pretender trying to convince myself that I really do trust Jesus.
When I was kid, Batman was my favorite super-hero. I loved the guy. I wanted to be just like him. I admired him most out of all the super-heroes because he has no real superpower; you know what I mean? Yet he scares the hell out of people. How does he do that? How does he pull it off? Tricks mostly. Nothing more than tricks and gimmicks. It’s all a facade really.
Think about it. Batman dresses in black, lurks in the shadows, hits people when they aren’t looking, talks in a low grumbly voice to add to the effect, and he relies on freakishly advanced technology – Bat-mo-tanks, Bat-O-copters, Bat-planes, Bat-boats, and all sorts of gimmicky stuff that he keeps in a utility belt. It’s all smoke and mirrors. Then, to top it all off, at the end of the day, Batsy hangs up the old cape and cowl, goes home and lies down in a luxurious bed, in a huge “mansion-on-steroids” Bat-Crib, he rides in the back of a Rolls-Royce, and get his rear-end powdered by a British butler. Batman is a poser. He doesn’t take any real risks. He’s learned to insulate himself with money and technology. And his relationships are pitiful. Really sad.
In fact, if you follow the comic, you know that Batman’s alter-ego, Bruce Wayne, has never had a meaningful relationship since witnessing the death of his parents as a child. Of course, he was married once – but to Catwoman. That’s right. Catwoman! That just goes to show how serious his intimacy issues really are! He married one of his arch enemies. Who did his marriage counseling? That’s what I’d like to know!
You might say, “Well what about Robin? Batsy had a good relationship there.” No true. Again, if you follow the comic, you know that Robin eventually got so fed up with Batman’s controlling, distant personality that he left the Caped Crusader and became Nightwing.
So Bruce’s only real friend is some old British guy who is just as emotionally repressed as he is. The two of them – Bruce and Alfred – spend most of their time in the dark, in a cave, sitting in front of a computer screen.
So there it is. Batman has no life, no wife, no family, no friends, and no faith in anything other than himself and his gadgets. Is this my Hero? Really? Sadly, I find that I am far too much like my childhood hero.
Thankfully God has graced me with a wonderful wife and two children that He uses to pull me out of the shadows. And He has given me the gift of Himself. That’s really strong because Jesus is not Alfred…that’s for damn sure. He will not be paid off or domesticated. He will not be ordered around. And He will not let me hide behind a mask or in a Batcave. He kicks my butt and rips off my cape and calls to me stop pretending to be a “superhero”. He confounds my gadgets. Disrupts my plans. And trips up my scheming.
He does not pamper or placate. He will not drive me around town in a Rolls, allowing me to call the shots. To the contrary, Jesus tosses me in the back of a pick up truck and then rides roughshod over the worst terrain. He doesn’t ask permission. He doesn’t say please or thank you. He doesn’t call me sir. He doesn’t “run my bathwater” or hold my towel or powder my backside. Again, Jesus is not Alfred. He’s not my butler. In fact, He’s nobody’s freaking butler! He’s the King! The King of Kings, who’s very presence drives me to my knees, arrests my heart, and unveils my hypocrisy.
So, here I am. Batman Unveiled. Like Lazarus of old, Jesus has called me out of the Batcave and kicked me right in my Utility Butt. He calls my true name out loud and tells me who I am. He orders me to stop playing about with gadgets, pulls me from the darkness, speaks life into my true self, and commands the cowled crusader, “Come and die”.
Jesus, help me. Super-heroes die hard.