Lately my sons have picked up a fascination with the Incredible Hulk. Through the miracle of Netflix, they’ve been watching the old school show from the 70’s and 80’s that I remember watching with my brother and sister as kids. We loved it then and my boys love it now. I don’t know about my brother and sister, but I guess I always thought we had our very own Hulk at home, our Dad! Somehow mom figured out how to paint Bud green one year and he was Hulk for halloween! And of course take one look at my brother’s website and you’ll see just how Hulkish he actually IS! The ol’ Hulk has influenced our lives in more ways than one.
Laugh if you like, but those old Hulk shows have really got me thinking. I’ve observed a few things:
1) I think it’s interesting how the Hulk turns a negative emotion (anger) into his superpower. Anger has been the downfall of many people and has ruined many relationships. I think anger is feared by many because it is difficult to control, so we don’t allow it any expression at all until we’re at explosion. Anger is a painful emotion and I know I find it easier to stuff it down than try to deal with it appropriately. What would it mean if we could allow a potential fault to actually become an asset when used properly? The Hulk’s always about righteous indignation, in that he turns green in anger only to save the day and defeat the bad guys. Could this principle apply to other flaws as well? Could my other potential problems like my love for too much sugar be channeled into something positive?
2) I can’t help noticing that the crux of Hulk’s superpower is the ability to force things to happen. Someone won’t cooperate? No prob for the Hulk. He simply picks them up and places them where he likes. Airplane cargo door in the way? He just rips it off! Someone trying to run him over? He just stops the car. What a dream! To be able to simply make it happen. Now, there’s no way I’ll ever come close to that in physical strength. But what about mental, emotional, psychological strength? I don’t often need to rip off airplane doors, but there sure are plenty of times I’d like to be able to have the mental determination to get that next book written in spite of all the distractions in my life. I’d like to be able to overcome the fatigue that turns me into someone I don’t want to be. I’d like to be able to “grit my teeth” emotionally and power through the walls I’ve put up to protect myself. I’d like to be so darn irresistible that… well, I wouldn’t be resisted!! I stare in fascination as a big green Lou Ferigno powers through another harrowing situation and deep down I want that type of strength too.
3) The Hulk’s always been my favorite superhero. Better than Superman (too pretty), Spiderman,(too mysterious) Batman,(too self-important). There’s something wonderful about the Hulk’s inconceivable strength matched only by his tenderness with those in need of saving. Reminds me of my daddy, my big brother, and yeah, of God. There’s something great about that strength used on behalf of someone weaker. There’s something so comforting about being protected in that way. I honestly think this concept drew me to God as a child, the knowledge that He is so big, so omnipotent that no evil is a match for Him. I’ll always need God in that way, and always find such joy in the knowledge that though all power is His, He chooses to speak gently to me, to carry me tenderly, and to use His incredible strength for my good but never to hurt me.
Perhaps it’s twisted that my brain runs in all these directions while taking in a campy old superhero show with my little boys, but it does. So why not subject you to my Hulkish thoughts?
Aw, David Banner, I like ya pretty good when you’re angry.