I’m gonna go out of my element for this article. That’s right: Despite my almost sole concentration on the video game side of geekery, this girl’s about to discuss…a Marvel movie.
I know next-to-nothing about superheroes beyond Spiderman, Superman, and Batman. What I have learned has mostly been from brushing shoulders with comic book-loving friends and helping patrons locate our library’s graphic novels section (which means I at least know my Marvel from my DC. Don’t go judging me too quickly, now).
But hey, Doctor Strange looked fun, and I wanted to see if I could catch Cumberbatch accidentally slipping into his British accent at any point in the movie. I asked to go with a couple of my more superhero-savvy friends, and we thoroughly enjoyed the show.
As I drove home from the theater, I was left thinking about the motif of time: Our transience on earth, how minuscule we might consider ourselves when faced with an expansive universe that moves and operates far beyond the tiny reach of our fingers. Of course there was Eastern mysticism to winnow through, but at the movie’s core the message was one to which any person could relate. We’re so small and our world is so large. What does that mean for our ultimate purpose as living creatures?
(Listen, I laughed at the funny parts, too. I’m not all deep thoughts and angst.)
This naturally led to the question: What does this message mean for the Christian faith? Could a God care or even find you – speck that you are in the galaxies? Does he see you lying in bed at night, overwhelmed by work, family, or just the anxious thoughts of “being”? Is He there in your solitary hours? During days where overwhelming problems vie for your attention?
You know, at my work we just purchased a 3D printer. To test its production quality, we printed over a dozen miniature plastic robots in one go to see how the printing filament and nozzle held up. These little fellas turned out to be maybe a centimeter tall, leaving no room for precise detail like on their larger cousins.
They had stringy bits dangling from their antennae where the printer nozzle had leaked. Some were warped from the nozzle’s pressure while still hot. Have I sold you on them yet? Because my coworkers were stopping by and cooing over these fly-sized plastic statues. Over the course of a week, they absconded with about half of the little robots (with not a little incitement from yours truly; I’m a troublemaker, I admit) and put them on display at their desks and work spaces.
Small things are cute; that’s a given. Even so, isn’t it interesting humankind treasures what could be considered minute and trivial? These 3D printed robots served no real purpose; they had no function except in the value subjectively given to them, yet they were universally adored.
In Doctor Strange, our titular character found meaning in the help he could offer to a broader world. He found his worth in sacrifice, and that’s certainly an admirable metaphor in itself. But for a Christian, such action shouldn’t BE our purpose; it should instead be BORN of the original purpose Strange’s control of dimensions couldn’t supply: Our value to an all-knowing, all-loving Creator. In all of life’s insanity (we may not wing through alternate universes, but we can certainly feel like rag dolls tossed between circumstances), there’s one solid place where we’ll always find purpose:
“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Now remain in my love.” – John 15:9
God’s love is our haven amidst the chaos during our years on planet Earth. He’s our reason for being, our incentive to move and work in the life we’ve been given. We may be small in this universe, but that doesn’t mean we’re insignificant. We matter to the One who holds sway over time itself. No need to sell our souls to a Dark Dimension when we can exist in the peace He gives.
(I did my best, Marvel geeks. Go easy on me.)
To read the Geeks Under Grace review of the movie Doctor Strange, click here.