Contributor: Randi Shepherd
l saw “Wonder Woman” recently, and it was awesome. I left the theater wanting to kick something, punch somebody (in a good and holy way of course), or take my sword (I don’t have a sword) and dominate an entire army by myself.
It was so well done, and the story was completely captivating. I loved almost every part of it.
The one part I didn’t love (*SPOILER ALERT – I’m about to give away big parts of the movie. You’ve been warned…*)
Is that she didn’t end up with the guy in the end. The action part of the movie was fantastic. The love story was fantastic. But then…THE GUY DIED. I was SO irritated.
Upon thinking about this way more than I should have here is what I concluded: Wonder Woman couldn’t end up with Steve. (I mean just saying that sentence out loud makes it sound ridiculous. If your name is Wonder Woman you need to end up with somebody like Apocalypse or Thunder Tsunami…not Steve.) Wonder Woman couldn’t end up with Steve because she is a god. She’s not like other super heroes that are human but have supernatural powers. The source of her power is that she is an infinite being. You just can’t carry on a love story like that.
After I sorted all of this out in my brain I became okay with WW and Steve not getting their happily ever after. However, I then began contemplating the idea of of Wonder Woman as God. (You know it’s a really good movie when it makes you think about it for days after.)
The movie paints a picture of what God would look like should God take human form and pay a visit to earth. It’s pretty powerful and enticing. WW shows up and gives a serious butt-whooping until everybody has straightened themselves out. She loves humans and sprinkles mercy and compassion throughout her visit but should the hammer need a brought’n…WW brings the hammer.
The movie gave me the impression that if a god were to show up everybody would be shocked and amazed, wrongs would always be righted, and order would always be restored. There would be no room for doubts and the good god would always win (like WW) because #god.
Here is where the movie and my reality began intersecting.
As Christians, we actually do believe that God came to earth in human form – name being Jesus.
And Jesus, to be honest, was not really like Wonder Woman at all. There was no butt-whooping, no amazing fight scene, no moment when everybody stood in shock and awe at the majesty he was. Even after he died- everybody went and hid. Even after he rose from the dead- nobody recognized him. He was not like people expected him to be. People expected him to claim the throne and become king – he didn’t do anything with government. People expected him to maintain a good public image and instead he partied enough with those who had questionable reputations that he got labeled as a “glutton…drunkard…and friend of sinners.” People were looking for the dynamic hammer – instead they got a guy who willingly went to his death to bridge the gap between people and God.
He did right some wrongs, but not all of them. He did restore order, but still left people with a choice.
And SO.MANY.PEOPLE. missed God because he was not who they expected or perhaps who they wanted him to be.
They were looking for Wonder Woman and got Jesus.
I think the same is still true.
If I’m honest, I always first look for God in the powerful and dynamic ways. I look for God in big answers to prayer, in healings, in miracles, and in injustices being stopped, etc. I look for God when I have a big problem or a burning question.
Sometimes I do find God there, but sometimes I come up empty. Most of the time the box I have for God is much too small. I am expecting earthquakes and fires and instead I get quiet whispers.
Sometimes we want to find God but we miss Him because He simply does not look like we think He should.
Tangibly speaking, what do I mean?
It’s like this. The way of Jesus is so different than we are accustomed to. We want revenge on our enemies and Jesus says to love them and pray for them. We are taught to get the money, make the money, save the money and Jesus says to give it away to God and to others. We want to be first, to be recognized, to be honored especially when circumstances call for it. Jesus, the one who was deserving of every honor and first place, blue ribbon there ever was lived of a life of being last. He lived a life of ultimate service. We are taught to strive harder, take control and Jesus teaches us to be still and submit our plans to God.
The way of Jesus does not look like our way.
Thus if we are looking for God we cannot find him by doing what we have always done or living like we have always lived.
Paul, a guy who wrote several books of the Bible says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
Essentially we must give up ourselves and begin pursuing the way of Jesus. The promise is not only that we will find God and know God, but that He will transform our lives.
So, Wonder Woman, I love ya, but if I’m really looking for God I’ll look for him during the stillness of prayer, in the surrender of myself, and on the long journey of putting His commands into practice. I’m convinced these are the places, spaces, and times God will always show up.