Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t yet watched Fight or Flight, this post is rife with spoilers. Be warned.
In the third installment of the Supergirl series on CBS, Kara is faced with being compared to her cousin, Superman. Her boss accuses Supergirl of being a typical Millennial—when times get tough, she’ll call Mommy and Daddy (or in this case, Superman). As a Millennial, I take offense at this point but can’t say the point is without merit. Some of us do tend to lean on our elders when times get tough some of the time. However, I also think our generation has a deep desire to prove ourselves just as tough, strong, and brave as any other generation before us. Kara echoes this feeling; and she does so in a way that echoes one of the most famous biblical teachings (one we very much need in the light of recent events). One that I had heard over and over and over before I ever knew who Christ was. But, before we get to biblical parallels with Kara, I want to take a look at two other characters and their Christian-Everyman moments.
1. Maxwell Lord
This billionaire, who looks strikingly like Carlisle Cullen, has his lab broken into by Reactron. Reactron needs a scientist to help fix his suit (that Supergirl broke). He grabs a random guy in a lab coat. That’s when Maxwell steps in. He could have hidden and let Reactron take the scientist in his employ, but he offers himself instead—risking likely death.
Not only does Maxwell exemplify the Christian-Everyman in that he follows Jesus’s instructions in John 15 by giving himself to save another; he also exemplifies Carlisle Cullen, another Christian-Everyman figure. I just love when my fandoms cross! And I’m looking forward to seeing Maxwell in future episodes. He is, after all, the one who forms the Justice League.
2. James “Jimmy” Olson
Taking a cue out of Christ and Maxwell’s book, James offers himself as bait for Reactron in order to distract him away from Kara. Now, James is not bullet proof, so if he gets his with Reactron’s electricity, he’ll be dead. Kara can at least take a few blows. But his sacrifice gives Supergirl the edge she needs to take Reactron down—and he throughly impresses her with his selfless act.
John 15:13 is powerful. It is the power that overcomes the bad guy in every fandom. It is the power that overcame the grave in our real fandom. It is a power we can all use and be superheroes ourselves.
Back to Supergirl. When she first sets out to face Reactron, she echoes a teaching of Christ spot on:
That’s the reason I’m going to go talk to him the way I would want someone to talk to me. ~ Kara/Supergirl
Kara learns that Reactron is a man, Ben Krull, who lost his wife and nearly his own life in a nuclear meltdown. Superman saved him but was unable to save his wife. Ben turned his sorrow into hate and now seeks to make Superman hurt by hurting those Superman loves, starting with Kara. Eventually he wants to take out the whole city in order to release his rage. Kara chooses to treat this man with love, compassion, and grace. She reaches out to him to try to help him.
Even when he refuses her help, she tells him, “I’m sorry for what happened to you, but you are going to jail.”
To treat others the way we want to be treated is to love them (Luke 6). It is to extend grace, mercy, and forgiveness. It is to have compassion on the compassionless. It is to love those who hate.
Recently we’ve been reminded in our own world of what hate can do. How it turns us into destroyers of the world rather than changers (improvers). Some people have been led into a practice of hatred. They have chosen a path that is devoid of love. However, to hate them in return is to become like them. We don’t have to let them walk all over us or get away with what they did to love them. Love is strong and has the power to change the world. We are sorry for whatever hurt they endured that led them down this path, but they are going to go to jail. They are going to be stopped.
But there are two things that concern me:
- How we react, who we become, because of what one group of people have decided to do. I plead with myself and everyone, don’t let this drive you to hate. Rather, choose to love. Choose to love like Supergirl. Choose to love like Christ. Choose to love like all our favorite fandom stars who don’t respond with eye for eye, tooth for tooth hatred.
- How we treat others who are not part of the group that has chosen hate, but maybe look like them or come from the same race, background, culture. Remember that hatred, like love, is a choice. Not all people who ascribe to Christianity choose to love. And not all people who ascribe to Islam choose to hate. Remember, it is not our job to judge but to love.
Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. ~ Matthew 7:1-2 NLT