It takes a brave, brave man to dress up like a flying rodent, wouldn't you agree? Perhaps that's why since childhood I have been captivated with the super hero who really doesn't fit the definition of "super" or "hero."
He doesn't have any gamma ray induced abilities, no spider bite steroid effects, and he can't leap over tall buildings in a single bound while simultaneously telling children to obey their parents.
In fact, his parents were murdered right before his eyes, and the person he grows up to be is a study in conflicted personalities. He doesn't spout family values and conservative ideals like the man of steel, but Batman does have the heart of a lion.
He's a man with an edge and a deep internal conflict. Batman's weakness isn't Kryptonite… it's himself. He is painfully aware of his own vices, which might be the fuel for his passion for saving Gotham City.
This brings to mind a question. What, exactly, is worth saving in Gotham City? Callous, cruel, corrupt and downright cold blooded might be some of the more positive descriptions for the object of Batman's loyalty. Night after night he flies into a place that more resembles a nightmare gone twisted than a thriving metropolis, thinking that he can somehow make that rat hole better?
That's what many might label as crazy.
That's what I would define as a calling.
Despite the raging internal struggles and seemingly unwinnable war against evil, Batman presses on. He believes there is something bright and beautiful behind the shroud of darkness in Gotham city; and that there is something good and noble beneath the blackness that envelopes his soul.
And perhaps that is why I'm such a fan. Deep down I need to believe that even when the real world spirals into a Gotham-like state of affairs, there is something worth believing in and worth fighting for with all I have.
Even more importantly, I have to know that despite the corruption that permeates my nature, we have been given a power to follow a calling and be a hero in spite of all outward appearances that would scream the contrary.
Do you know who else could relate to Batman? Why, the Apostle Paul - of course! See if you agree that his words could have been penned by Bruce Wayne as well:
The power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question? (Romans 7:18-24).
Paul was keenly aware of the internal battle that stormed his life and sabotaged his desire to serve God's purpose for his life. But rather than give in to evil and the seemingly unwinnable war for the redemption of souls, he found the answer in the only true superhero ever to walk this earth:
The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind (Romans 7:25).
You and I all have a dark knight within us. We have conflicting natures, but we carry also the power of Jesus Christ and the message of the gospel. Our world is Gotham City, but we look forward to a heavenly city that is free of corruption and darkness. In the meantime, we can't just hide in a bat cave, playing with our toys and ignoring the calling that God Himself has placed on our lives with THE Cause.
Brothers and sisters, let's rise!