Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity


King Kong God

posted by Carolyn Henderson

Anne and Kong at the top of the Empire State Building, in Peter Jackson’s 2005 movie, King Kong.

In a desperate foray to find something well made and worth watching, we have been revisiting movies of yesteryear, which in today’s society mean anything more than seven years old.

Recently, we immersed ourselves in Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake of King Kong, and when it comes to escapism, you can’t do much better than this: there are oversized creepy insects, ravenous dinosaurs, raging sea storms, and two sweet romances: one between the handsome male and the brave yet quavering female, the second between the quavering female and a giant ape.

It is this latter romance that brings to mind my relationship with God — not because He is a massive monkey and we, being made in His image, descended from Simian ancestors (one of these days I’ll open the floodgates and talk about why the Theory of Evolution and the Truth of Christianity don’t mix, mesh, or match), but because he is big and strong and scary yet gentle, and his behavior toward Ann, the quavering female, mirrors something that we look for in our relationship with God.

Kong Falls in Love

While this relationship didn’t start out magnificently — Kong is ready to eat Ann, after all — things change, and the behemoth of Skull Island falls for the living Barbie doll. In a series of classic Jackson episodes of dinosaurs attacking Ann, Kong holds her firmly in his one paw while he fends off primeval reptiles with the other.

Standard romances involve two humans of separate genders, which does eventually happen in King Kong. Evening Waltz, original oil painting by Steve Henderson.

Ann screams well, which is a natural reaction to being whiplashed back and forth while your protector is busy protecting you, but at all points she is safe because, despite looking as dumb as my farm cat, Eddie the Thug, Kong cradles Ann with the one hand while he fights with the other.

Frankly, on this atrocious island filled with unfriendly natives, massive crustacean insects, and squashy wet life-eating marsh plants, Ann isn’t safer anyplace else other than in Kong’s hands. Even the human romantic hero played by Adrian Brody, who sends all of my female progeny into swoons, can’t do as well as the big, brown, hairy guy who keeps beating his chest.

Safe and Secure in a Scary Place

But the big scene, the one that made me stop, mouth agape, and look as dumb as Eddie the Thug myself, was the one on the Empire State Building, in which Kong climbs, again with Ann in his fist, to the top, and they sit there as companionably as one can manage to do 1200 feet above the city streets.

From Ann’s point of view, this would be a remarkably senseless time and place to struggle outside of Kong’s grasp, because the only realistic direction is down — rather quickly — and only by remaining still and calm in Kong’s firm embrace is she really safe from her present circumstances.

Do you see where I’m going here? Obviously, God is not King Kong, but He is big and strong and powerful and able to climb tall buildings with us in His grasp — and He does, throughout our lives, as we find ourselves in really, really frightening situations that we would rather not be in. But we are in them, and it’s wise to remember two things:

We Call Him “King” for a Reason

1) We are not alone at the top of the Empire State Building. Most of us couldn’t manage to get in the position in the first place, and even though for humans it just involves scaling rickety ladders to a narrow shelf, we wouldn’t willingly be there if we had a choice. But we are there.

2) We are in God’s hands, and now is not the right time or place to struggle out of them and go . . . where? Down?

One could argue: I wouldn’t be up here if God/Kong hadn’t brought me, but look at it this way:

1) This isn’t a perfect allegory

and

2) Wherever we are, God is with us, and the top of the Empire State Building is a scary place. But if you have to be there, it’s better to be in the hands of someone who knows how to get up and down, than negotiating the circumstances alone, in your own strength and in a skimpy white dress.

Isn’t it amazing how much truth we can find, when we look, in pop culture?

 



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