Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ben Parker (Hope Beyond All Hope)

The annual issue of the Amazing Spider-Man came out a few weeks ago. It dealt with Spider-Man disappearing from the time-stream.

A lab accident at Horizon made it so that Peter Parker/Spider-Man seems to have never existed at all. Peter Parker is jumped to a seemingly better world where Mary Jane is a successful Hollywood actress, Norman Osborn found the cure for cancer, and Flash Thompson (though still crippled) is an Olympian athlete.

Suddenly, earth-quakes start happening all over Manhattan. Parker has to go to the center of each quake to relive a memory. After he does this, the memory remains within the world. And piece-by-piece, memory-by-memory the world returns to its normal Spider-Man-inclusive self. Part of the main theme shares that even though the world might have appeared better without Spider-Man in it, the people that he had influenced would have never been as well-off without him. (This reminds me of what I touched on in this devotion.)

In the first memories recalled, Pete has an influence on which ones are chosen to be relived. As he walks up to his High School, he relives being bullied on the High School bus. Heightening his hopes for the next memory relived, Parker visits his all-too-familiar childhood home.

He walks up to the door almost as with his fingers crossed. The deepest question on his mind might have been "What If?" What if my non-existence had brought some of my loved-ones back? What if I was not the one liable for my uncles death? What if Uncle Ben is now still alive?!?

His faith was rewarded.

When he knocks on the door, it’s answered.

Uncle Ben is there!!

Pete can't believe it. After all of this time without Ben, Parker is relieved to know that Uncle Ben is there!!

It is the same way in our universe. Many people may fall away and stop believing, but those who cling to the faith through the Holy Spirit, taking hold of God's hand will one day see Him face-to-face. We will be able to have not only the door opened to us, but the metaphorical gates of Heaven. The glory of God will be even more astonishing and breath-taking then seeing Uncle Ben again.

We know that we don't deserve to see God again. Like Parker, we were the cause of His death due to what we had left undone. We continuously fail to fulfill the Law as Spider-Man failed to stop the murderer of Uncle Ben.

Yet, in the end, we do see Him again. God is more than a man. Although He had died because of us, as Ben had in the normal time-stream, He beat death. We can see him as perfectly as Parker saw Ben again. And, unlike the Uncle Ben in this comic book, God will never disappear from us again.

Another big difference between Ben and God is that at first Ben doesn't know Pete. God has always known us. He knows the number of hairs on our heads, he knows our innermost beings, he knows both our hearts and our minds. In spite of all of this, He still loves us. Like Ben after more memories are unlocked sees Pete as family, God now knows not only as nephews but as his own children. It is not a distant unrecognizing face who greets us at the door, it is the one who had been waiting there for us our entire lives. Not only that, God has also been the one leading us along the entire way.

Like Uncle Ben, we can also hope that God's words will be something like,

"I just wanted to tell you
that I am so happy
I got to see you again today.
And I could not be more proud of you."

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