Spiderman and The Lovable God
By Fin Sheridan
Of course, when I say ‘Spiderman”, I mean Andrew Garfield. He, along with Liam Neeson and Adam Driver, recently starred in the new film ‘Silence’. A powerful story about faith, persecution and hope, based in ancient Japan, preparing for ‘Silence’ meant that Garfield spent considerable time with Catholic priests.
In this profound interview with America Magazine, he talks about his experiences:
When I asked what stood out in the Exercises (Spiritual Disciplines that he did in preparation for the film), he fixed his eyes vaguely on a point in the near distance, wandering off into a place of memory. Then, as if the question had brought him back into the experience itself, he smiled widely and said: “What was really easy was falling in love with this person, was falling in love with Jesus Christ. That was the most surprising thing.”
He fell silent at the thought of it, clearly moved to emotion. He clutched his chest, just below the sternum, somewhere between his gut and his heart, and what he said next came out through bursts of laughter: “God! That was the most remarkable thing—falling in love, and how easy it was to fall in love with Jesus.”
“What was really easy was falling in love with this person, was falling in love with Jesus Christ.”
Those phrases have stuck with me since I’ve first heard them. They sum up the heart of Christianity, in the most simple and attractive way. It wasn’t a well executed church service or some marketing trick that won Andrew’s heart. It was how Jesus was so pure, so compelling, so true and so, well, lovable (a phrase we don’t often use for God…). He got a revelation of Christ and who he really is and it just seemed to captivate him.
His experience causes me to reevaluate the words that I use to describe God; words from my mouth and words in my heart. Do I feel comfortable talking about being ‘in love with Jesus’? Does the thought of who he is bring wide smiles and bursts of laughter? Or am I took caught up in serious spirituality, religious concepts and an idea of God that isn’t very lovable?
In the midst of all the different messages about who God is, I’m hungry to see and know the real. Jesus tells us that “whoever has seen *him* has seen the Father”. He’s the clearest picture of who God is and what he is like and, as Andrew Garfield has discovered, he’s incredibly compelling. More than that, he’s loveable.