Thursday, March 27, 2014

Who (and what) saved New York?

In the end, who ultimately saved New York? The Hulk arrived just in time to stop the first leviathan. Black Widow closed the portal the Chitauri used to invade. Hawkeye's exploding arrow gave Loki the fall that comes after a prideful catch. But in the end, the nuclear weapon flying toward the city would have made that all meaningless. Tony Stark saved everyone.

Not the gamma-irradiated monster.

Not the god.

Not the super-solider.

The regular human. The one with no superpowers or otherworldly pedigree. The man.

"Oh, but he's brilliant and has a highest-of-tech suit of armor!" Yes, but Tony didn't save New York because of the armor. Not really. Tony didn't save New York because he was the smartest or the strongest. Anyone could have been in the suit. There are other people in suits of armor--both heroes and villains. (And often Stark tech -- is he just throwing the old ones in the dumpster out back?!)  Anyone could have been in that suit and made a choice. Tony made the right one.

He's a hero, in the end, not because he had a suit of armor, but because he broke his needs and wants upon it. He took that suit to the cross. He gave himself up to death. That didn't take anything more or less than goodness. Not intellgience, not strength, but goodness. Charity in the literal sense.
 "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13 RSV)

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