I love watching movies. It’s very intriguing how I can see similar themes shine through in most of the movies or shows I watch. I just finished watching Hawkeye, a streaming series from Disney+, which is another spin-off of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It takes place after the Avengers: Endgame movie. There are many themes in the show that caught my attention, like Clint Barton promising kids to be home for Christmas, his “discipling” of Kate Bishop, and the mystery-solving aspects.
However, one of the most interesting aspects of Hawkeye is its obsession with the suit that the Ronin once wore. For those who have not followed the Avengers Saga or understand the Marvel Cinematic Universe I must warn you there are MAJOR spoilers coming. I am writing from the perspective that you all have seen the movies and shows.
So Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, took a darker path after Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, sacrificed herself so the Avengers could get the Soul Stone to stop Thanos from snapping half of the people in the universe out of existence. When Thanos succeeded at first, Hawkeye’s family was part of the culling, and that was the final straw. The darker path had him change his outfit and become a ruthless vigilante called the Ronin. Ronin is Japanese for a Samurai without a master. Ronin would not merely catch criminals, he would kill them. He was responsible for taking down Triads, Yakuza, and the Tracksuit gang. Needless to say, he made lots of enemies. He took all his anger, pain, and despair out on villains everywhere. Suffice it to say he has a dark past. But by the time we get to Hawkeye, he is more human than ever. With his family back, he is truly a husband and father figure. But the Ronin suit remained on the Black Market, and in Hawkeye, Barton has to face his past once again.
This motif of the dark past that doesn’t go away is something we can all relate to, isn’t it? We all have said, done, or thought things we have been ashamed of, haven’t we? If God put up an IMAX screen of all the things we are ashamed of, we would be totally embarrassed, right? I’m praying that God doesn’t do that, by the way. The things we did, said, and thought that were less than holy come from our flesh, our sinful nature. That sinful nature is constantly at war inside of believers. Galatians 5 says that the spirit and the flesh are at war with each other. The good news is that we have somewhere to go with all the things we are ashamed of. We don’t need to carry these secrets to the grave with us, since we have a Savior who understands what we have been through. Unlike Hawkeye, we have a God we can take our embarrassing secrets to, the ones we are ashamed of, as well as the pain, anger, and possible despair that lies underneath the poor choices we have made.
So we have a God who understands our situation. We also have in Christ a person to confess to when we mess up. Barton carries the guilt around with him forever, but we have someone who has redeemed us and whom we can turn to for comfort, friendship, and strength. (Disney +)