Saturday, May 30, 2015

Things Buffy Got Right: The Weak Shame the Strong

Lately, I've been watching through Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel again. A couple of years ago, I blogged on things that, despite both the content and creator, Buffy got right: Sacrifice, Blood, and Passion. There are definitely more. For example...

God chooses how His plans are fulfilled. He need not use the strongest or smartest to achieve His ends; He needs nothing, because He is God.

God has the "sole right to divine honor". C. S. Lewis' expression eloquently reminds us that our strength or intellect or money does not guarantee us the lead role in God's plan. We do not earn honor for ourselves; God chooses, if He will, to bestow honor upon us. God seems to choose the weak and the sinful to execute His plans, teaching us just how dependent we are. With God, the least can do anything. Without God, the greatest can be sure of nothing.

Consider villains like The Judge or Mayor Wilkins. Both seem unstoppable. They're big; they're strong; they're super-powered. If she went hand-to-hand, Buffy couldn't handle them. The Judge would burn her up. The Mayor, after his (laughably-termed) ascension, would have swallowed her up or smashed her flat.  For all their preparation, for all their strength, they overlook more conventional ways they could be stopped (and in the Buffy universe, high explosives and rocket launchers are mere "conventional" weapons).

Xander, the same "nobody" who helped defeat The Judge and Mayor Wilkins, is critical to perhaps the best example:

In the season 6 finale, "Grave", Willow, overtaken by grief and power, is going to destroy the world. People will great magical power, both good and bad, can't stop her. Buffy, with her superpowers, can't stop her. Who stops Willow?  Xander.  A nobody.  Weak, ordinary, non-powerful Xander stops her.

As he puts it later, "I saved the world with talking from my mouth. My mouth saved the world."  He saved the world with nothing more than words and--and this is the key--his willingness to go out there. He didn't know how to help. He didn't know if he could help. He went out anyway.

He went out to Willow and talked to her. He loved her. He let himself be hurt; he let himself be weak. And he saved the world.

Moses was "slow of speech", perhaps having a stutter or other impediment, when God called him to go to Pharaoh. "I will assist you in speaking," God tells him, "and teach you what you are to say." (Ex 4:12) David was a child when he faced Goliath. Joseph was among the youngest of his brothers, weak and without a birthright. Mary was a young girl from a small town. Peter was a brash, uneducated fisherman. John was a youth.

God need not choose the strongest or biggest or wealthiest to fulfill His plans. He can use someone like Xander, someone like you and I. We just have to be willing to step out there, like Xander or Moses, and trust. God will give us the words. God will see His will done through our meager means.

No comments:

Post a Comment