Friday, March 9, 2007

what makes a man?

I saw "300" today. It is a movie about being a man.
gerard butler's character, the king, is powerful. passionate. compassionate. unwilling to waver. and he is absolutely ready to sacrifice himself for his country, his family, his honor.
i want to be like that.
the Wild At Heart books and retreats and dvds and all that stuff, has something right when he says that men seek and yearn for adventure. we live our lives in cubicles and minivans and safety and insecurity. men need to believe, feel, that their lives are meaningful. that we're passionate. that we matter. that we're on the earth for a purpose.
But Wild At Heart, and its corrolary for women, Captivating, has it wrong when they say that men want a beauty to rescue. men do not need to rescue women. a strong woman with her own mission and passion and purpose does not need anyone to rescue her.
jesus knew this. jesus' life was passionate, full of purpose. he was willing to sacrifice himself, to do battle, to shout at sickness and rage at oppression of the poor and broken. he did all of this because of his vast, overwhelmingly powerful love.
the queen in "300" is strong. she fights for her family, for her country, for what she believes in. she is willing to sacrifice herself as well. spartan women do not need to be rescued.
when a man is full of passion and compassion, power, his own sense of his calling, his commitment to something important, he can be tender, loving, soft. he doesn't need to prove it. he lives it.
jesus did not come to rescue any of us - he came to empower us, inspire us, call us to greatness. it is not the greatness of violence - it is more powerful than that. it is the greatness of love.
the language of the struggle in this movie is violence - but violence in this case is simply an expression of power and will. it's a myth, after all.
i believe that we are called to live a life that has greatness. passion.
bono is such a man. he uses his power to help millions of people, to end hunger and AIDS, to inspire us to love our neighbor and our enemy.
just go see the freakin' movie. it's the shit. it's the point.
it's not for children.

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