One of my favourite Marvel Heroes is “The Incredible Hulk”. If I am honest, there is a lot in him which resonates with me; inside me is some form of Hulk wanting to get out. I keep him caged up fairly well most of the time. Actually, he has not got out now for quite a long time although I can feel him sometimes rattling the bars of his cage.
Anyway, moving on. That’s not the direction I meant to head off on…
For most of my social media profiles, I have this as my avatar:
The Hulk in all his angry green glory. Feel free to psycho-analyse this as much as you like. Is this a mask for me at the moment? Is this how I think people see me? Is this how I see myself?
The reason I like this picture, is because it is a challenge to the beholder. What do you see when you see this picture? What is the story behind it? What brought on the change in Bruce Banner to make him turn hulk?
Here is the full picture:
Context is everything.
It is very rare that we know the full story, of well, anything these days. So, the person who just snapped at you when you bumped into them this morning, the surprisingly strong reaction from a co-worker when you submitted your report a little late, maybe your spouse was a tense when you got home after long day at work? It would be easy to take things to heart and meet fire with fire. Here is something I see online from time to time, “Be kind to others.. They may be fighting a battle you know nothing about”, it’s true.
So, the Hulk. The cropped picture shows the green guy just scowling and in a bad mood. Just some dude with an anger problem. When I look at the full picture, I see that despite his rage, the Hulk’s hand is gently stroking the head of a small boy who has been bullied, and he is glaring at the bullies. But, still he is not getting up to smash the bullies to the ground. The Hulk sits and comforts the boy. Furious, but defending and caring for the victim.
Maybe the reason this means so much to me is that (oh gosh – the penny is dropping in real-time here) .. is that there were times when I needed a hulk to be there for me, but there wasn’t, so .. So I had to create a Hulk to protect myself.
Right, back on track ..
The Hulk is angry, but he’s not about to kill anyone. Anger in itself is not a wrong, for instance “In your anger, do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26). It is possible to be angry and God would still be ok with it. Jesus himself got sometimes angry, very angry, and was still able to die on the cross as innocent and sinless.
So yeah, that’s well, kinda .. my random thought for the day. I’ll close with this:
“Be kind to others… They may be fighting a battle you know nothing about.”