About the supermen

Published 5:16pm Thursday, September 9, 2010

No person Is Superman

Roger Moore phoned me one night. I replied with a bit of levity telling him he was my favorite James Bond! But Mr. Moore wasn’t in a humorous mood. He identified himself as a collector and insisted my cell phone bill was in arrears.

I finally convinced Mr. Moore that at that time, I had no cell phone and had never had one and had never had dealings with his company. He didn’t seem to believe me, but later realizing the case of mistaken identity, the company sent a letter of apology.

It was interesting to read the biography of the real Mr. Bond last year. “My Word Is My Bond” by Roger Moore is the story of his beginnings in the film industry and some inside information about the making of seven Bond films.

It was intriguing to read that the man who saved the world several times over is actually a fallible human being! Filming was delayed on two occasions when Moore developed kidney stones. He also had prostate cancer, a heart pacer and four marriages.

James Bond isn’t indestructible after all.

“Walker Texas Ranger” Chuck Norris has written about suffering pain after martial arts exhibitions and hernia surgery. The original TV Superman, George Reeves, died a suicide, and we all know the sad story of Christopher Reeve, the movie Superman of the 1980s, who was paralyzed after a riding accident.

Alas, the image of super heroes is simply a myth.

The Bible is filled with the stories of heroes, but none are super heroes. Scripture doesn’t whitewash the foibles of its characters. Thus we read that Abraham lied, David committed adultery and Peter cursed to demonstrate he wasn’t associated at all with Jesus.

The Bible also gives a word of hope. The fallen characters who populate its pages are men and women who found God’s forgiveness and strength as they rebuilt their lives.

During the Advent season we hear readings from Isaiah 40 such as “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed” (vs. 4-5).

Isaiah described God’s mercy in poetry. The Jews had been punished for their sins when their homeland was destroyed in 586 B.C. After years of captivity in Babylon, the Lord made it possible for the captives to journey home to rebuild their land and their lives. The prophet described God leading the people back to Jerusalem, making their path easy to navigate by lifting the low places and removing the mountains.

As is often said, when we make our way back to God, he meets us more than halfway.

This is good news for us fallible humans.

Michael J. Brooks is professor of speech and journalism at Judson College.

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