Super Hero Mania

When I was growing up, my peers and I enjoyed watching shows about super heroes. I even read an occasional comic. I also had a set of figures that I could use to act out scenes of heroism, as I flew Superman in to deal with Lex Luther. My parents never gave me any indications that they were interested in super heroes. You may wonder why I shared that last sentence. It’s because today, parents are as much into super heroes as their kids (if not more so). Don’t believe me? Just purchase a ticket to a super hero film in your local theatre and go have a seat. Now look around. Do you see it? Eighty percent of the audience is made up of adults who are oohing and ahhing with every cataclysmic battle. It’s not just that this genre of films is popular. They are super-popular (pun-intended).


What has happened? Why has the mind of the twenty to fifty year old been so captured by stories of these comic-book titans? I suppose it is because Hollywood has come a long way in bringing these characters to life in spectacular ways. The actors who play them are good-looking, heavily muscled and good at getting us to root for them. They show vulnerabilities, but then pull us out of our seats when they overcome and crush the bad guys. The fact of the matter is that creators of these characters, like Stan Lee, tapped into something that resonates within each of us. We all love good to triumph over evil. We all applaud justice being served (by a big green hulky monster). We all enjoy seeing a transformation in someone from ordinary to extraordinary. We love it when, against all odds, our heroes swoop, or smash, or blast or their way in, throw a bad guy around (and around, and around) and then crack a one-liner that makes us laugh and cheer the day. In a world when we often feel vulnerable and justice seems elusive, we love to imagine that things could be different.


What I have shared today is part of the reason why I felt sad to hear the news that Stan Lee had been abused by someone entrusted to care for him. Unfortunately, Iron Man did not rocket in to save the day. Spider Man was nowhere to be found. Even the Hulk seemed unable to penetrate the wall of harmful attitudes and behaviors. Someone should have been there guarding this elderly creative genius. Someone should always be looking out for the defenseless elderly, but this is far from the case. How often do we hear stories about the elderly being abused or taken advantage of? How sad. People who have likely spent most of their lives caring for others now meet with an unkind hand, or a hardened heart and they are neglected, or worse. What rises up in a person that causes them to abuse a frail, infirmed, cognitively challenged elderly person? Is it just simply that they are easy prey? Do the aged become nothing more than a means to an end? Is it that some people just don’t have the emotional make-up to deal with such folks day in and day out? There are many different reasons.


The Bible tells us how important it is to God that the elderly are cared for.


Some verses that reflect this truth are:


Leviticus 19:32 32“‘Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD.


1 Timothy 5:4 4But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, forthis is pleasing to God.


There are other verses that impress upon us the importance of caring for the elderly, but the point is that those who are weak and limited need to be cared for by the strong. Just ask yourself how you would like to be treated when you are in your eighties or nineties. Don’t you just hope and pray that someone will be there with you who loves you and has your best interest in mind? Someone who is willing to care for you because you clearly can’t care for yourself?


At some point, each of us will likely be in a position when we will have to care for the elderly. Let us do it with respect, and out of reverence for God. Let us put our religion into practice, and care for the elderly who so need us. This is pleasing to God.


The fact of the matter is that often we will be the only ones who are in a position to care for someone who is up in years. Thor is not going to show up with his hammer. Superman will be unavailable. Batman has too many villains to fight.


Yep – you are going to have to be the super hero.


Care for the elderly in such a way that causes us to cheer you on.



For Him,



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