I really enjoy a good story. Of course, living a Shine TYC life means I see everything through the lens of my faith — a Christian World view doesn’t idolize or demonize anything in God’s creation but understands there is a way to use it all for God’s glory. So, that brings me to my girl Alita: Battle Angel.
Notice, the title of this post does not say “movie review.” This is not about how much or how little I liked the movie. This post is about what I learned from Alita: Battle Angel. Though, I found some things that I did not like about the movie, namely the ending — it has none, the story really resonated with me as a Christian, particularly as a Christian woman of color. I feel capable of so much more than what my environment suggests of me.
So let me do this with little or no spoilers…
The movie is set in the 26th century. Yep, like 500 years from now. The earth, as we know it, has been destroyed — of course. A compassionate and talented doctor finds a humanistic robot– cyborg, Alita, in a junk yard. Well, not really her, but he finds her head and then gives her a body. He’s a cyborg surgeon so this is kind of his thing and he’s good at it. He fixes Alita and gives her a cute little teenage body that he previously designed for his deceased daughter. The problem is that when Alita wakes up she can’t remember anything. She doesn’t remember who she is or where she’s from. She doesn’t even remember chocolate. Can you imagine?
Early on Alita discovers she has some intuitive abilities. She’s quick and strong. She’s smart. Little by little, with each strangely intuitive experience, Alita: Battle Angel starts to remember who she is. She discovers that she was much stronger, much smarter, much more capable that she ever imagined. As I watched Alita marvel while she discovered her abilities, I couldn’t help but think about us, as humans.
There are so many things that Jesus said we could do, but life clouds our thoughts and we often feel impotent to any kind of spiritual power. For those of us in Christ, we have a sense that there is more, that we can do more, and be more. However, we can’t quite access the power switch to activate it. Alita struggled with being herself in the frail teenage body the doctor had given her. She wanted to do more, but she wasn’t equipped to do all she could conceive in her mind.
As a personal development coach, the first question I ask new clients is “who are you?” I rarely get a confident and definitive answer. We have dreams and visions that we know are from God, but how on earth will we get it done? Well, that’s just it. It occurred to me while watching Alita: Battle Angel that I am asking my clients the wrong question. I’m asking myself the wrong question.
The question is not “who am I?” The question is “Who can I be?” And the answer to that, for those of us in Christ Jesus, is everything God says we can be. In John 14:12 Jesus tells the disciples, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”
This doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll call down fire from the sky or that I will simply tell a paraplegic to get up and walk. But, it does mean that through the power of the Holy Spirit I can heal broken hearts, infuse the world with hope, and do what Jesus did — love everybody.
Right about now, love is a super power. Kindness is a rarity and genuine concern for the needs and well-being of others is conspicuously missing from our broad global culture. But, like Alita: Battle Angel, I have a sense that I can do something about it. I just need to tap into God’s power the way Alita found hers. (No spoiler) I need to remember who I am so that I know all that I can be.
I spent a lot of years on self examination and reflection. I kind of know who I am. I am love. But after seeing Alita: Battle Angel I realize that the tiny love fire that burns inside of me is only a flicker compared to the blaze I can conceive in my mind. Like Alita, I have a purpose, a destiny for the greater good of mankind. I have to remember exactly who I am so I can go out and be the Love Warrior God created me to be.
So, who can you be?