What a week. First, Saturday night and the election campaign’s second terror attack. Amid the shocking brutality and cowardice – three men attacking defenceless civilians including women – I wondered how such a warped view could possibly evolve of a god who might regard such thuggery as ‘a beloved act’…
But then horror at the despicable deed was mingled with a certain thrill at the feline swiftness of the police and SAS in dispatching the thugs, and admiration for those who did what they could to thwart the rampage and defend the defenceless. The whole episode made me ponder whether I too would be prepared to act bravely in such circumstances. How can you know until it confronts you? I just hope I would.
And what of Wonder Woman? Actually I haven’t seen it yet, but won’t let that stop me commenting ha ha! (I’ve seen the trailer and some reviews if that helps). Resonance with the terror attack on the film’s opening weekend wasn’t hard to see; if simply the contrast between cowardly men misusing power to perpetrate atrocity, and a woman using power (in part supernatural) to protect and do good. She has an exotic accent, some funny lines and one helluva luminous lasso to boot, so I’m already sold. Never mind that the theme tune isn’t as good as the 70s TV series, and she doesn’t spin round and do the wardrobe change in a blinding puff of light like Lynda Carter did. Fashions change.
From what I’ve absorbed so far, what I particularly like about this portrayal of WW as she steps into the early 20th century to take on World War I, is her idealism, borne out of both a certain naivety about this new environment she has entered, and confidence in her Amazonian roots and the power invested in her to make a difference. So in this week marked by both a despicable deed and our day of democracy, what do I take from the DC comic heroine’s example? Three things spring to mind, rooted in my faith but with which her portrayal resonates.
First, I aspire too to be a warrior, though of the spirit more than the super heroic. Not least among New Testament imagery of life in Christ, is Paul’s description of the armour of God in Ephesians 6: 10-18. It’s emphatically declared to be for a battle “not against flesh and blood…but against the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”. Though I believe that being armed with such attitudes as are tied up in the belt of truth, shield of faith and sword of the spirit can only assist in earthly situations and conflicts too.
Second, I’ll vote today with heart and hope, not succumbing to apathy or any false feeling that my vote doesn’t count, but confident that it does, remembering not least the bravery of ordinary ‘wonder women’ who fought for it to be available to all. And finally, in a secular and sometimes cynical cultural climate, I’ll persevere alongside our rebooted superheroine in holding on to a child-like (not childish) confidence in a story and power bigger than and beyond myself, where I am rooted and find home.
Happy viewing – and voting. Image from