True confession. I cried during “Wonder Woman”.
This was strange to me for several reasons. One is that I typically don’t cry easily at things like movies or TV shows (although this has changed more recently. I blame menopause and watching “This is Us” last year!). Another is that I would never expect to cry during a superhero movie. And then it happened during a battle scene – not a tender moment where tears would seem more likely.
If you have seen the movie, you will remember the scene. It is the one that takes place in “no man’s land”. After meeting Steve Trevor and hearing about what is going on in World War I, Diana (Wonder Woman) wants to be taken to the war, believing that she will find the cause of it (the Greek god Ares) and be able to kill him, thus ending the war and the deaths of millions of innocent people. Eventually, Steve takes her there – to the trenches at the border of no man’s land. In the trench, she meets a woman who tells her about what the soldiers are doing to the people in the town on the other side of no man’s land. Diana’s heart is moved with compassion, and she decides she needs to do something. Here is her exchange with Steve Trevor:
Steve Trevor: This is no man’s land, Diana! It means no man can cross it, alright? This battalion has been here for nearly a year and they’ve barely gained an inch. All right? Because on the other side there are a bunch of Germans pointing machine guns at every square inch of this place. This is not something you can cross. It’s not possible.
Diana Prince: So… what? So we do nothing?
Steve Trevor: No, we are doing something! We are! We just… we can’t save everyone in this war. This is not what we came here to do.
Diana Prince: No. But it’s what I’m going to do.
Diana removes her disguise to reveal herself as Wonder Woman and goes into no man’s land, fighting off bullets with her wrist cuffs and shield.
When I was searching for things about the movie to write this blog, I found out that I wasn’t the only woman who cried at this scene. Apparently, according to this article, there are many of us who did. I’m not sure about all of their reasons. Maybe it was at seeing a strong woman take the lead when men kept telling her “no”.
But I know why I cried. Just a few days before I saw the movie, I had led a Bible study about spiritual warfare. We had looked at the armor of God outlined in Ephesians 6:13-17. With all of those verses fresh in my mind, as I watched the scene, I saw imagery of a woman fighting the spiritual battle.
This woman was taking the lead, holding her shield of faith to fight off “the flaming arrows of the evil one”. And even though the battle was fierce, she kept moving forward, using her wrist cuffs to protect her from the bullets and holding her shield as protection.
But as she stepped out in faith in battle, she inspired others to do the same. As Diana moves forward successfully in no man’s land, the men on her team come out of the trench and join the fight behind her. As I watched this happen, it reminded me that my faith will encourage others to also trust God in the midst of the battle and be moved to action.
And even though she may have led and inspired courage in the men, she also needed them. As they began to shoot and throw grenades at the enemy and fight with her, they helped clear the way for all of them, Wonder Woman included.
The result of Diana’s courage is that the people of the town are saved from slavery. As believers, we know that there are people around us who are also in slavery – they are slaves to sin and need us to fight the good fight in hopes of saving them.
With all of this imagery going on in my mind, the tears sprang unexpectedly as I watched this scene.
Fighting the battle isn’t easy. Life isn’t easy. It is tempting to give up when things get hard, to just quit. I find that those temptations come ultimately because I am forgetting the character and promises of God and struggling to trust Him. Instead, I need to put on the full armor of God and head into the battle with my shield of faith repelling the flaming missiles of the evil one.
I’m thankful that a superhero movie – a genre I would typically avoid – encouraged me to do that. As I fight, I want to keep coming back to this image of a woman moving forward in courage behind a shield that works to fight off the enemy. I want to keep pressing on in such a way that others are encouraged to come along and move forward in the battle as well. And I want to keep fighting side-by-side with the body of Christ and savoring victory together.
Thank you Wonder Woman.