I felt contemplative and rather bored Saturday evening. It had been a good day mostly, but I was still feeling a little empty. I walked over to the borders by our apartment, and spent the evening reading DareDevil comics. A Christian musician was playing to a small crown in the coffee shop. Somehow it was encouraging to see another Christian there. Over the past couple weeks it seems like I have been assaulted with different ideologies. The very foundations of my Christian faith were questioned, and I was confronted with a multitude of systems that cried out that they were true and I was wrong.
To have such a bout with your faith is disconcerting. One of the fundamentals of the protestant reformation was the idea that Scripture is the basis for all we believe. At one time, the church depended on direct revelation from God through His prophets to direct the church. They did not have His revelation in a written form. Such supernatural experiences carried with them an air of excitement and mystery that is almost addicting, and it seemed in the New Testament age that the church had problems controlling their use. Paul addressed this emphasis on the supernatural gifts in 1 Corinthians, and exhorted the Corinthian church not to put so much emphasis on a transient phenomenon. Paul knew that a written word was eminent, and necessary for the growth of the church into maturity. Sola Scriptura, God’s word in written form, the final authority in all matters pertaining to doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. I have examined to the best of my ability, and I can not reconcile the idea that there is any other source of infallible and inspired revelation that is not expressed in scripture.
Satan likes to use circumstance to aid him in his nefarious aims against the church. In my specific case, I am weakest when I am tired. Such was the case these past couple weeks, and the whole ordeal culminated Saturday. So there I was, sitting in borders, reading DareDevil comics. About nine o’clock I bought a couple of CD’s and walked over to a parking garage, just north of the Borders. I like to go to the top floor and sit on the ledge that looks out over highway forty. In the evening, the parking lot is empty and the wind blows stronger for lack of obstructions.
I was considering the events of the past few weeks and just meditating on the day, thinking about myself and my relationship with God. I love comics. Sure I know that’s a rather strange statement to make at this point in the dialogue. Yet I find in the lives of comic book heroes a metaphor for the life of a Christian. If you read many comics at all, you know that the hero is forever facing some kind of constant battle against an evil power. The hero often falls, he loses friends and loved ones, he sacrifices and gives of himself for the good of mankind. The hero is distinguished from the common man, not by his power, but by his courage and his felt responsibility to use what he was given to serve others.
Are we not the same? Does not the Christian face a continual battle against an evil power. We fall, we lose friends and loved ones because of our faith, we are called to sacrifice what we have to carry the gift of salvation to humanity. There are great themes of love and sacrifice worked out in comic books. The hero always wins in the end, and such will be the way of life. It doesn’t matter how many times we fall, Jesus will be there to insure victory. In the middle of the greatest hardship there is hope. I am the hero, and my source of strength is Christ.
He spoke to me that night. His words were not audible, but they were as real as any conversation I have ever had. I told Him of my fears, my failures, and my desires, and from the wealth of scripture, He spoke to me. He told me that He loved me, more than I could know. He told me to call Him Abba, for I am His by adoption. He told me not to think of the task, for He has given me power enough to accomplish it. He told me not to think my heart to small, for He had enlarged it. He told me not to think my mind and strength to weak, for He had equipped me sufficient for the task. He told me that he had prepared my way in this world, that He had taken care of tomorrow. He told me that He had given me Life, and that I should live it.