I’m not a fan of Shakespeare. But I love words. And in his play, “Romeo and Juliet,” a simple quote calls for my attention.
From the Italian city of Verona, a family feud takes place between the Montagues and the Capulets. These two families hate one another. But Romeo (who belongs to the Montagues) and Juliet (who belongs to the Capulets) fall deeply in love.
In the words of John Newton’s 1779 hymn, “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see.”
This story never gets old. Not because it’s the most popular Christian hymn. Not because your church sings it every Sunday. Rather, it’s the story of redemption. And for those of us who belong to Him, it’s the “… light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor. 4:4 ESV).
Trying to explain Marvel comics to me is like viewing a deer in headlights. Your most elaborate explanation only draws a blank stare. Just ask a friend of mine. Educating me on the various Spiderman movies is a great way to lose my attention.
According to Thomas Frey, a futurist, “We are entering a ‘superhero era.’ Each of us think about superheroes differently, but they are far more than entertainment. For many, they add purpose, meaning, and inspiration to a world often devoid of those qualities.” In other words, Thor and Batman give people hope. Iron Man and Hulk transcend human frailties. It’s a “superhero culture.” And the most popular superhero series of our day is “Avengers.”
A couple of weeks ago, my girlfriend and I roamed the shelves of Books-A-Million. (Yes, we actually had a date in a bookstore). All went well until I spotted some merchandise. But not just any merchandise. Much to my disappointment, I saw action figures and other items based upon an individual who—in my opinion—shouldn’t be celebrated.
My frustration must’ve been obvious. Eventually, my girlfriend asked me who the publicized woman was. The woman found in action figure form. And I responded, “She’s a very horrible person.” Out loud. With a touch of fury. And a whole lot of regret.
It’s a cry from my heart. A longing of my soul. I desperately desire to be found humble at the feet of Jesus.
I’ve been the one surrounded by people after preaching a sermon. I’ve been the one who gets a standing ovation. I’ve been the hesitant recipient of praise from people. And through it all, my heart cries, “Keep me humble, Lord.”
After all, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18 ESV).