Thursday, July 28, 2011

Small and Large Super-heroes

I didn't think people went to outdoor movies anymore, until I read a wonderful story in the July 18 issue of America magazine by Maryann Cusimano Love. In her column, Ms. Love tells of taking her children to their first outdoor movie.

Everything seemed to be going well, when suddenly "an indignant bellow – NO! –interrupted the program." She recognized "that big voice in a small person's body" as that of her 2-year-old daughter who, in her footie pajamas, had marched up to the big screen and was facing down the evil villain.

The film showing was Tangled, the Disney story of Rapunzel. The villain imprisoned Rapunzel for security reasons, to protect her "because the world was a bad and cruel place." Ms Love writes that her daughter would simply not accept that and cried out "No! that's not true! The world is not bad. The world is…" and she opened her small arms wide and pointed at the people gathered on blankets in front of her, sharing popcorn and picnics. "The world has…" and she finished her observations saying "grass! Green grass."

Ms Love says her small daughter "rested her case, secure in her conviction that a world thick with lush, green grass and people breaking bread together could only be a good and grace-filled place." When I read this, I couldn't help but think of the prophet Isaiah saying, "A little child shall lead them." Our media today seems to be full of super-heroes. We seem to be looking for someone to save us from the evil around us, and perhaps within ourselves. This phenomenon has been with us a long time, and probably will continue to be with us.

The super-heroes of the media are merely illusions. But the living, breathing heroes who stand for good, for truth and justice, who are generous and unselfish, are all around us. We need only think of Dorothy Day, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, and a little child in her footie pajamas! We need only think of our families who keep gathering to break bread and build community. We need only to think of those who tirelessly care for the child with AIDS, the young woman rescued from the abuse of human trafficking, or the neighbor down the street whose family grieves the loss of a loved one.

Shall we thank one of those super-heroes today? Thank you, small person with an outsized grasp on life!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing truth that comes in footie pj's. Sometimes those of us who are more jaded from long experience in darkness -- need just such a perspective. Your blog is a breath of fresh air. Kathleen Weller OblSB