My favorite scene of Avengers: EndGame begins almost gruesomely. It seems like the end of the movie and perhaps the series as well. The three heroes that are left have been trampled and beaten and now lay on the ground, their faces and bodies bloodied and wounded. Captain America stirs. Resignation, defeat and hopelessness are written plainly on his face. And yet, even though he thinks he will be defeated, he begins to struggle to his feet because he must keep fighting or else die trying.
From his viewpoint, there is no way to win the battle. No hope.
And that’s when you hear it. The faint crackle of a far away voice. Despite the question of its validity, that small voice stirs a wild desire. Could it be?
And at that moment, the portals open. Beautiful, spinning, golden and bright. And from the midst of that beauty, steps out three friends. They make eye contact with Captain America. There are no words exchanged but in that moment, something very powerful, very beautiful, very rich is communicated.
Help has come. He is not alone.
Help, when everything seemed hopeless. Help, when you felt like you must have been truly, awfully, unbearably alone. Help, when you couldn’t see any other solution. And as the scene unfolds, more and more beautiful portals open and you realize that the unseen has become seen. That they were never really fighting by themselves – they just had to wait a little while. For perspective. For reinforcements. For having their eyes opened.
In my mind, the reason why this scene is so emotional and so powerful is because it represents a much greater truth. Yes, these heroes we have loved now have their friends and comrades returned to them. Yes, in this movie good does conquer over evil. And that’s a wonderful, moving storyline.
But in the greater, more eternal part of life, there is a more vital truth we can hold to.
We who fight in the trenches.
We who feel broken and helpless.
We who feel beaten, downtrodden, bloodied, and wounded.
We who feel like we are fighting alone.
We who feel like we can never win the battle.
Because, as Christians, we have something much greater than any superhero, much more powerful than any alien, much greater than any human imagining.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. ~ Ephesians 6:12-13
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8:37-39
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? ~ Romans 8:31
Like in this movie, or like with Elijah running from Jezebel (1 Kings 19), or like with Elisha’s servant and the unseen army of God (2 Kings 6) – like, probably many times in your own life – we struggle when we can’t “see” our help. When our eyes are consumed and overwhelmed with what our own finite, human minds can make reason of, what our own five senses can take in.
But we are called to see the unseen. To have eyes of faith, not physical sight. To look beyond the dregs and corruption and stains of this world to something brighter, fairer, and more incredible than we can ever imagine.
And we will find that we have power, not of our own, but of the Mighty God Himself.