Even Superman needs God (e-mail to my grandson)

Originally printed as an editorial in the Christian Science Sentinel

It's so much fun to be your grandma. Every time I spend the weekend with you and your family, I learn more. Last weekend, you taught me about Superman.

You also told me about the characters in Superman's world - some good, some bad. There's Superwoman, who (like Superman) is good. There's Metallo, who's bad and has a kryptonite heart. And there's Bizarro, a bad guy dressed up like Superman, but with messy hair.

Even before I started reading the Superman comic book to you, you wanted me to know that Superman and his friends aren't real. After all, he can do incredible things. Like fly through the air. Or hear conversations from miles away. Or hold up a bridge that's about to collapse. And you told me something else: "When the bad guys fight with Superman, he and the good guys always win."

That's a little like the way it is with God, you explained. He always wins, too. And He's completely good. But, of course, you and I know there's a huge difference between God and Superman. Because God is real. He is the great force of the universe. And there's no other real force. Here's what God's First Commandment says in the Bible: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Ex. 20:3). That means God is NUMBER ONE - for all of us. And no bad guy or bad thing can ever take God's one-and-only place. Because He's in charge of everything.

Your mama told me about how you prayed just that way when you had an earache. You knew that God was too good to make a "bad guy" earache. You knew His love for you filled the exact space where your ear was hurting. You knew that God, not the earache, was NUMBER ONE. And what happened? The earache went away!

Well, last Saturday night we all found out that God is number one even in the world of Superman. It happened when Grandpa took us to the beachside restaurant on Key Biscayne.

During dinner, you crawled under the table and had a make-believe conversation with the little "Superman" I'd bought you at the toy store. After that, you and Superman went over to play near the big red bougainvillea bush. The next thing I knew, you ran to Mama and said: "Superman's lost. I can't find him anywhere!"

We looked and looked for Superman - in the sand, in the flower beds, under the table, in the prickly branches of the bougainvillea bush. We managed to find his red cape in the branches - but not Superman. Finally it got dark, and Mama said it was time to go home.

I could tell you felt like crying. But you didn't.

Then Grandpa said, "Let's ask God where Superman is." You didn't say anything. But I knew you started praying. We all did.

Suddenly, something told me to look one more time in the bougainvillea bush. I asked Grandpa if he would lift the bush out of the big clay pot it was sitting in. At first, he wasn't sure he could. But then - with a big "Ooooommpphh!!" - he picked it up. And what did I find in the leaves at the bottom of the pot?


The next day, I heard you and Mama talking about what had happened. You said everybody needs God - even Superman. Everyone needs God's love. God is the one who keeps us happy and safe ... always. No one else can do for us what God does. That's what "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" means, you said.

I'm glad you love the First Commandment - and understand it so well. Thanks for helping me love and understand it more than ever before. That's what you really taught me last weekend.

The First Commandment is

my favorite text.... it signifies

that man shall have no other

spirit or mind but God, eternal

good, and that all men

shall have one Mind.

Mary Baker Eddy

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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