He is small and brave. He pedals his trainer-wheels-tricycle along the roadside. He is unaware of the four-wheeled machines – or rather the danger that the monsters inside the machines possess. He doesn’t care, but doesn’t have the words to say so. What he has is a Spider Man costume. Volcano red, seared with impressions of a black web – scars of battles won. This is his way of telling the world that he is strong.
Monday morning and I feel small. I have not yet convinced myself that I am brave. I slug to work like a blood clot through a vein – slow, painful. I am the monster in the machine. I know there will be battles today; there are battles every day.
I wish I had a Spider Man costume. All I’ve got is my brave face, feet that will try to find footing all day, and a little bit of faith.
“The daily grind” is not a phrase anyone should take for granted. It grates and smashes and pulverises ongoingly – the constant click of cogs of a clock crashing against each other. Time does not stand still, but it moves like an injured athlete writhing to the finish line. Funny how when you’re hurting the world spins a little slower than usual.
But we do not give up. We grind. We grieve. And some being more gentle than others find grace to give despite the grind. And this is what gets us through.
It is when we – who are so small and so un-brave – give from a place of having nothing, go out of our way even when we feel like we have no way to go… it is then that we grow a little, that we begin to put on piece-by-piece our Spider Man costume, that we begin to find our way. The costume doesn’t change who we are (which sucks sometimes because I want super powers, especially on Mondays). The costume sure doesn’t hide who we are – we are the same shape, now just with a brightly coloured lycra attire. The costume doesn’t make us brave.
The Spider Man costume is not so much about us as it is for those who see it. It instills hope, it gives courage. Like seeing that little boy on the tricycle rallying the machines, it made me feel like I could rally too. The costume musters courage. And quite frankly, it just looks awesome! Your costume may look different to mine, but put it on with pride. Wear it for those who are small, for those who don’t yet know they are brave.