A few weeks ago, my brother and I had an unplanned day out in the big town of Bangor. We ended up going to see Black Panther in theaters. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, as I had heard a little controversy about the film, but it had good reviews for the most part. (It is now the biggest film in America right now. It hit over $1,000,000,000 in the Box Office last week.)
I was actually quite impressed by Black Panther! It was very energetic and engaging. It was well written. I felt as though it was truly a Marvel movie, with its perfect amount of jokes, some serious times, fight scenes, and tear-invoking moments
But as I got home and thought about it, I picked up an unexpected message from it.
Let me first say, I am NOT the person who goes to a movie, reads a book, or listens to a song and tries to come up with a message. (Unless I’m forcing myself to write a review… which this is not.) This just kind of… happened.
Second, when you read my thoughts, please know that I’m not blaming everyone around me. I’m honestly thinking about myself in this!
Third, let me quickly give a run-down of the plot (no spoilers!): This movie takes place directly after Captain America: Civil War, my all time favorite Marvel movie. It follows T’Challa (aka Black Panther) and his rise to king. After being crowned king, he faces multiple challenges, including his family life, dealing with his father’s death, and more. After someone challenges his kingdom, he must risk everything he has in order to save Wakanda.
I think this movie was special. I feel as though everyone gets their own message from it. Here’s what I thought:
One of the main protagonists expresses to T’Challa how much he hates him because Wakanda has everything. They have the cure to diseases, protection, scientific progress the rest of the world doesn’t have, and more… and the world hardly knows they exist. The protagonist thinks that Wakanda is disgusting because they could help the entire world with their struggles. But no, instead, they hide away. They can’t be discovered and be changed. They don’t want to get involved in war.
I feel like some of us (I mean, me) as Christians are like Wakanda sometimes.
You probably think I didn’t watch the film. “Natalie,” you say, “how could you find a Christian message in this movie? They worship animals as gods! What are you thinking?”
Well, here’s what I think. We are like Wakanda. We have everything in our lives. We have faith, joy, peace, and the strength of the Holy Spirit!
We have so much. We can literally save and change lives! And yet, we choose not to. Why?
Because we’re comfortable undiscovered. We don’t want to change. We simply don’t want to tell others sometimes. We don’t want to “start a war”, get in a debate, or be mocked.
Personally, this is something I struggle with. I get scared of pushing myself out of my comfort zone and talking to people about controversial subjects, like religion! But this year, I made it a goal to push myself out of my normal boundaries in everything. I’m pushing myself to work better, to go to events that actually scare me, to get into shape, to talk to people I don’t normal talk to… I’m even pushing myself in school!
I talked about how I want to change my personal fitness a little while ago. I see progress already. So if I can change myself physically, can’t I change myself spiritually?
If you struggle with this too, challenge yourself with me! Push yourself out of your comfort zone and share all that wealth we keep locked away.
All you have to do is open up. Share about how God has changed your life. Talk about why you don’t watch some movies or why you celebrate Easter. Or maybe, all that you to do is just smile more. You never know who or how you can help.