We have a coffee can on the kitchen counter where we put our loose change. Once we have enough change, the four of us go to the Coinstar machine, buy treats and go to a movie. One of my favorite cultural movie trends is seeing female characters presented in a more balanced way. Last week, we went to see a remake of Tomb Raider. Previously, the two Tomb Raider movies and the (now ancient) videogame presented the heroine, Lara Croft, as a buck-some, overtly sexualized, gun toting adventurer. It was a stretch to imagine Angelina Jolie jumping over boulders and narrowly escaping bad guys and booby traps. The new rendition of the Tomb Raider saga is different. Alicia Vikander plays the lead role as a capable and intelligent young woman. Not only is she strong and courageous (I found myself wondering what I would be willing to do--besides exercise--to get that kind of muscle definition), but she shows a depth of character in denying herself of her rightful inheritance and bravely searching for her missing father on a dangerous island.
There is something to be learned in all this that transcends movies and gender. What would happen if we saw the people around us in three dimensions? How often do I walk around judging people I see by how attractive they are and what social/cultural groups they represent. If they look clean-cut and well-dressed then I assume they are probably contributors to society. If I see someone with tattoos on their face or dirty clothes I steer clear because they are probably up to no good. In order for me to see these people in three dimensions I would have to get to know them. I would need to understand where they come from--their backstory. If I withheld judgement until I saw that third dimension, I might find out that there are more people worth knowing than I ever realized.
As followers of Christ, we have an obligation to see the people around us, not just by how they look and act, but by who’s they are--God’s children whom He loves dearly. After all, wasn’t it a two-dimensional view of Jesus that caused his people to throw palm branches under his feet one minute and yell ‘crucify him!’ the next? We miss out on what God is up to and how we might be involved when we stop short of that third dimension.