Our Super Power

  • So here's why I wanted to be sure that no one would get butthurt if I said something religious or spiritual. See, I had a spiritual awakening after finding the RLSH community and learning about all its activities (one of which, Project HOPE, is coming up in just a couple of weeks). I remember back a couple of years when my alter ego received a loud and clear message from God that He had a good reason for everyone to be here. Well, there was nothing my AE needed to hear more at that point, after suffering the last of a long string of bad dates and worse relationships, and fringing on suicidal. After a few months of that, I was like, screw this, it's time to come alive. Then my identity started to develop; about a year ago I started patrolling the neighborhood; and then at the beginning of this year I (and my AE) suffered a knee injury and spent nearly a month and a half recovering.


    Which is when I found the RLSH community.


    Funny how things work like that, isn't it?


    I really thought God had it out for me with that one. But I'm mostly recovered now, patrolling more often, and preparing for Project HOPE. Now here it is, the beginning of Great Lent, and God, as subtly as ever, has shown me what I'm here for.


    I haven't been a RLSH for very long, but I've noticed some trends. For one thing, there are some of us who get so into being Real Life Superheroes that we forget about the "real life" part. Unlike fantasy SHs, we're ordinary human beings -- we're vulnerable, some of us are morally ambiguous (thinking of certain RLSHs who shall remain nameless but are known better for their Real Life Super Egotism than for RLSH-ism), and sometimes, we're just plain weak. We have big hearts and strong minds. We have a willingness and a desire to go out there and make the world a better place, but sadly, we don't have any super powers.


    Or do we?


    It's a true blessing not only to be allowed to exist, but finally to understand why. My AE has actively avoided the dating scene since that last horrible experience, and I don't see much appeal in it either. (Sorry, guys.) Instead I've found my own identity, and God has shown me a new purpose. I composed a prayer that I'll say before every patrol from now on -- "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as I make my way through the world of the superhero, let Your compassion and love become my super power. Let me shine Your light on those who need a light in their lives, that they may know that they, too, have a place in the world; and may You show them the way as You have shown me, show them Your mercy, and let them know Your love."


    Like I said, it's funny how things work out sometimes. If it wasn't for my AE giving up on relationships, I probably wouldn't have come this far. If it wasn't for some sketchy activities in the neighborhood (to say nothing of the burgeoning opioid outbreak in this part of the country), I probably wouldn't have started hitting the sidewalks, the parks, or the woodlands. And if it wasn't for that knee injury, chances are I wouldn't have been flat on my back long enough to find the RLSH community, and still wouldn't know why I've been allowed to exist, even questioning whether I should. As much as I hate to quote that most ear-bleeding song from Dr. Horrible, "Everyone's a hero in their own way, everyone's got something they can do."


    Many of us believe in a higher power, whether it be God (or another name for Him) or the spirits of nature; some of us don't believe any such thing. But you know what? That's cool. Myself, I believe in the one God that sent His only son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. Unlike far too many Christians, though, I respect everyone's right to believe what they want, and I don't judge people for believing something different -- heck, some of my AE's closest friends are pagans and atheists. (Mind you, I draw the line at using your religion as an excuse to kill and destroy, whatever your belief system is). One of the things most of us do as RLSHs is watch over those less fortunate than ourselves. Do we judge them? No. Do we mock and ridicule them for the direction their lives have taken? Hell, no. We reach out to them, remind them that they're people, too. Judgment is God's job. I'm just glad He took a short break from it to show me His reason for me to be here. I also believe that God is just and compassionate, and has called me to serve that justice and compassion on people and places where it's sorely needed.


    Whatever you believe, I encourage you to think it over: What has God -- or higher power of your conviction -- shown you, however subtly or overtly? Something that I hope and, yes, pray will take you a long way down your path as a superhero; and for a super power, you will be armed with will and determination, and grace, too.