Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Comic capers, superheros, and God

I loved comics as a kid and would eagerly await with anticipation for my weekly Beano and Dandy comics to arrive. It didn't take me long to grow out of reading Twinkle and Rupert Bear in favour of something with a little more action and, pardon the pun, some comic relief. I must admit to getting fed up of Desperate Dan and his cow pies and replacing him with Bananaman and the aptly named Nutty comic. Maybe I was enticed by the free packet of Space Dust? The first issue came out 16th February 1980 but it seems like only yesterday, such was my excitement of my new comic. I still have some back-copies somewhere. Should I have admitted that? I should perhaps point out, Space Dust was popping candy that crackled and made your tongue tingle. I loved my comics and think I was in love with Denis the Menace. I also loved Saturday morning TV. The caped crusaders, alias Batman and Robin, battling numerous villains: the Penguin, the Riddler, the Joker, and my personal favourite Catwoman. Saturday viewing however, was not complete without Zorro. OK maybe he wasn't a Superhero, although he did wear a cape, but he was my hero. You just can't beat a good sword fight!

When not reading comics, or watching children's TV, I would be roaming the streets and fields where we lived. On rainy days I would draw cartoon characters or read. I inherited some children's encyclopedia from my older brother. The set was bookended by an illustrated Bible and a book of paintings. I loved both. There was also an atlas. Atlas may have had the world on his shoulders and I may have lugged said book around on my shoulders during my secondary school years but alas my geographical knowledge is almost non-existent. I just wasn't interested. We are all inspired by different things. What grabs one persons interest bores the next. We are all different and it would be a boring world if we weren't. I was out walking the other day, OK maybe more of a gentle stroll, and came across a certain Superhero. My husband completely missed him, but then he dislikes anything science fiction. How can you miss Spider-Man? Its not everyday you come face to face with a Superhero!

There is so much around us that we miss in our hurry to get things done. Perhaps we think we are a Superhero and can cope? Wearing your pants over your tights is never a good look, especially in public. Thinking we are Superman or Wonderwoman is not healthy. Even God took a rest on the seventh day and yet we so often ignore our own needs for a Sabbath (Gen 2:2-3; Ex 20:8-11; Lev 19:30, 23:3; Deut 5:12; Jer 17: 24). Thankfully God never takes a holiday but us mere mortals certainly need one. I know I do. Still we continue racing around like the Bionic Man or woman. If we are not careful we miss the things that God wants to show us. It might be Spider-Man stuck up a tree reminding us we are not a Superhero. It might be the catkins that look so delicate and beautiful glistening in the sun as a reminder of spring and a new season in our life. It might be the ripples of the water reminding us that our actions effect other people and the world around us. Or perhaps that Gods love reaches out to all.

Stop rushing around and relax. Take a stroll. Go feed the ducks. Remember there is bread for all.

'I am the bread of life,' Jesus told them. 'Those who come to me will never go hungry; those who believe in me will never be thirsty.' John 6:35 GNB