Green Lantern: A Story of Calling

By all rights, I should hate Hal Jordan, for nothing else than for just being so dang cool.

He’s cocky, arrogant, square-jawed, has a head full of hair, has an awesome bomber jacket, and has literally one of the coolest jobs in the world, that of test pilot for new, experimental airplanes. He’s a war hero, a ladies man, and in general, the guy most guys wish they werel
But if that was everything, he wouldn’t be one of my favorite heroes.
Out of nowhere one day, Hal is flying a test plane when it is suddenly transported to a remote location out in the desert. He was pulled there by an irresistible force, and confronted with a wholly spectacular and terrifying surprise. What pulled him there was an alien, which would be strange enough on its own, but this wasn’t any alien. This was Abin Sur, Green Lantern of Sector 2814, a being charged with protecting the area of space that Earth happened to be in. Abin Sur had crash landed on Earth and was fatally wounded. With his last bit of strength, he summoned Hal Jordan to him, so that he could pass on the duties of the Green Lantern Corps to a worthy successor. Hal Jordan was the closest being who could fulfill the duties of a Green Lantern, so the power ring itself chose him.
You see, the power ring is the tool of a Green Lantern, and it gives the user to ability to create any object it wishes out of light. The only limits are the imagination and the will power of the user. The task of a Green Lantern is to protect all life in their assigned sector of space, which is considerably large. Needless to say, this is an enormous responsibility for anyone.
There’s no such thing as a “normal” call story.
Take a look at Samuel. He heard a voice calling his name in the dark. Three times, he got up and awoke his mentor Eli. On the third time Eli realized that the Lord had been calling out to him, so he instructed the boy Samuel to say when he heard the voice again, “Speak, Lord, for you servant is listening.” Samuel did as he was told, and was then tasked with being a prophet of God, one that would one day anoint King David.
Take a look at Moses. He was an exile, forced to flee for the wilderness when he killed a man. He found God on a mountain, speaking through a bush that while on fire, it was not being consumed. He gave many excuses, but was chosen to be the prophet that would lead his people out of captivity.
Take a look at Isaiah. He was given a terrifying vision of the Lord of Hosts and all his angels, plagued by the sight of strange beings seated next to the throne of God. He made his excuses, said, “Woe is me! I am lost for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” The seraphs cleansed him, and God charged him with one of the hardest jobs of any of the prophets: to speak to people who will not listen, and to show God to people who will see.
Not every prophet gets a fun job.
So what makes Hal Jordan special, especially in a world of Bat-Man, Superman, and Wonder Woman? What sets him apart from all the spectacular super humans that infest his universe?
I would say, it is his calling that sets him apart. That and his character. Hal Jordan is a man that is capable of overcoming great fear. That doesn’t mean he is fearless though. The two are very different. Hal is very capable of feeling fear, but it is the will to overcome it that makes the Green Lantern ring work. Courage in the face of adversity his his greatest power.
The coolest part about it though? It’s the Corps.
Don’t get me wrong, just one of them is pretty cool. But there’s a whole galactic police of them, a holy order of protectors assigned all throughout space to uphold justice and protect life. He’s part of a team, even though most of the time he’s on his own. But nevertheless, he’s connected to something bigger than himself, force made up of many members, all with unique strengths.
Honestly, I can’t help but think of the church when I see this.
The church is made to be the body of Christ, the presence of God in the world. Each member has a purpose; no member is wasted. All believers are called to be faithful, and to make a stand when called upon. Among our many tasks is that of being courageous in the face of fear, even if we are afraid ourselves. Where willpower is the tool of the Green Lantern, faith is our tool. Both can be misused; religion can be just as dangerous as anything. Responsibility calls for a discerning mind and a prayerful heart to make faith work.
I love the Green Lanterns, and I love what they stand for. I pray that I am able to overcome fear. With God’s help, that just might happen.

About grantimusmax

Grant Barnes, aka Grantimus Maximus, aka The Nerdcore Theologian. Currently, he is a PhD Candidate at the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley, California. He is a graduate of Perkins School of Theology with a Masters Degree in Divinity. He graduated from Texas State University Cum Laude with a Bachelor's degree in English, minor in History. He watches way too many movies, reads too many books, listens to too much music, and plays too many video games to ever join the mundane reality people claim is the "Real World." He rejects your reality, and replaces it with a vision of what could be, a better one, shaped by his love for God.
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3 Responses to Green Lantern: A Story of Calling

  1. What a information of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable know-how concerning unpredicted feelings.

  2. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it.
    I have you book marked to check out new stuff you post…

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