I went and saw X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) tonight. The film makers promised that this film would be the best action film of the summer. And they delivered one action packed film! I saw one blog (and forgive me, I don’t remember which blog) that compared this action in this film to the action in Iron Man (2008). The action is definitely comparable. But I would have to say that the storyline in Iron Man was much better than the storyline in Wolverine. As much as I enjoy the vast Canadian landscape, I could have done with less of Canada and more of Mutants.
Wolverine is such a complex character, always struggling between what he considers ethically right (he seeks murderous revenge against his half brother) and what is ethically wrong (he stops his half brother from killing someone). He struggles from being controlled by his temper and controlled by his compassion. He struggles with being influenced by those around him, and the spark within. Aren’t we all, to some extent, like Wolverine?
There are multiple ways in which we struggle with who we are – who we are becoming. Many out there will say that the media has waved its wicked wand to influence our children and teens into thinking they should be someone they are not. While there is valid concern for that, a group of high school students this week told me that they felt friends, parents, and teachers (not necessary in that order) were the places they felt they were being influenced to be someone they were not.
Genesis 1:27 reminds us that we are each created in the image of God. An image of God dwells within us. To know that we are created in the image of God means that we have worth just as we are.
From the book of 1 Samuel:
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (16:7, NRSV).
This verse comes from the text where Samuel, a priest of God’s, goes to the house of Jesse to anoint the next king. As Samuel approaches each of Jesse’s sons, oldest to youngest, the Lord rejects each of them. Finally, an exhausted Samuel asked if Jesse has any other sons. Jesse replies that he does, but he’s the youngest and out watching the sheep. Samuel insists that Jesse send for him, and when the young boy approaches Samuel, Samuel knows that he is the next king of Israel. The boy was David.
The point of the verse is that God does not look on the exterior, God looks on the interior. If we are doing or acting a certain way as those around us think we should, we are reinforcing the idea that our exterior determines who we are. We are reinforcing that the image of God within us does not matter. If we do not recognize the image of God in us – if we do not look at our own interior, how can we see the image of God in others, much less expect others to see the image of God in us?