Guardians of Grace?

************************ MINOR SPOILER ALERT*************************

I’m writing about the two “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies today.  There are no major plot points revealed from either movie.  However, if you haven’t seen them and are a movie experience purist and want to see them with no preconceived ideas, you may want to skip this blog today.

************************ END SPOILER ALERT ***************************

One of the more wacky additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe has to be “The Guardians of the Galaxy” films.  The characters are not those that we might expect to get their own movie, let alone a franchise.  They are definitely, third tier characters or lower.  Even those of us who read more Marvel comics than those that had mutants or spiders, had no idea who these people might be.  Going into the first one I was confident that #1: The soundtrack would be good and #2: The MCU hadn’t let me down yet.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” was a surprise and a delight.  It was funny and irreverent without having to descend to “Deadpool” levels of funny and irreverent.  There was action, adventure, an origin story, and the overarching plot of the whole MCU was advanced.  At it’s heart, however, none of that was what the movie was about.  “Guardians” was really about what makes a hero. A hero isn’t necessarily the best person, the most talented person, or even  someone inspired to help others.  Sometimes a hero is simply the person who is willing to do what needs to be done in spite of his or her flaws and imperfections.  Which, of course, means that we can all be heroes.  Audiences responded to these misfits and rooted for them even though most of us had never heard of them before.

“Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2” came out a few weeks ago and to my mind was not as strong.  The soundtrack was not as good, the action was repetitive, and it just felt like they were trying too hard to recapture the magic of the original.  There was a strained quality to the first half of the movie.  The humor felt forced rather than organic.  There was still action, adventure, and an origin story, but the overarching plot of the MCU was not advanced.  Like the original, however the larger message of the film was more than the sum of its parts.  “Vol. 2′ was ultimately about what makes family.  Family isn’t about who we may be related to, how we are raised, or what is considered ‘normal’ family structures.  Family is about who we love and who loves us.  It is about those we choose to share our life and those who put up with our faults, foibles, and rough edges.  Perfection is held up as a negative example and forgiveness is what brings people together.  Again, this gives us hope than even our flawed lives can be of worth to the right people.  Call me crazy, but this sounds like grace to me.

Grace is love in spite of flaws and finding courage in spite of fear.  Grace allows us to see the best in ourselves and know that we are of value.  Grace tells us that we are forgiven even when we don’t deserve forgiveness.  Through grace we find hope, love, and the strength to be our best possible selves.  And we find evidence of it in the most unexpected places, like sci-fi movies about a group of outsiders.

All of that is why grace is so amazing.


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