Did you go see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 last month?
Before going to see it, I wouldn’t have said I was a huge fan of the Guardians. They were definitely fun, enjoyable watches. But when all was said and done, that was it. Fun.
But Vol. 3 was in theaters, and my sisters and I wanted to go see a Marvel movie in theaters for the first time. By all the trailers, this one looked like it was going to be a great one (which, when it comes to Marvel, are getting more and more rare). So we took our chance and off we went, and it was worth it. I could go on and on about how great a movie this was, but that’s not what you’re here for.
After that, I went back and watched the original Guardians of the Galaxy, seeing it in a new light after Vol. 3.
One of the things that struck me the most in a rewatch, was just how unlikeable most of the Guardians truly were. (Well, with the exception of Groot.) By Vol. 3, they had quite a bit of character development under their belts.
But in the original, all of them were criminals, whether that was for murder, theft, or whatever Peter Quill was up to. They’d stab anyone in the back to get what they want—it’s pretty much how they all wound up in jail together. And even when forced to work together to escape, they spent most of the time fighting and shouting at each other.
But then they discovered that orb they were all squabbling over had the power to wipe out entire cities. And then, thanks to one of their members, that orb fell into the hands of a very wrong person. And the only people that could get it back were the most unlikeable.
As Peter put it, a bit less eloquently, the universe was asking them to care for once.
That particular chance that was handed them may have been just that—chance. Or maybe it was a nod to something deeper. Sprinkled within all that fighting and shouting and galaxy-saving, I spotted grace.
Grace is defined as “free and unmerited favor.” You get something good just because. Not because you did anything for it—in fact, usually because you didn’t do anything for it—but just because the giver chose you.
Gamora attempted to kill him, but Peter still risked his own life to save Gamora in a prison fight.
Drax called the villain on them and caused them to lose the power stone, but the Guardians still took him back.
Groot sacrificed himself to save the rest of the Guardians, even though none of them had done anything that would make anyone care.
Rocket cruelly mocked Drax’s grief for his family, but Drax still chose to comfort Rocket when he lost his friend.
Nebula was an active villain throughout the first film and much of the second, but the Guardians (Gamora especially) still chose to reach out to her and give her the love she so desperately wanted.
A lot of days, I don’t feel very likeable. I know I do things that are wrong. Some days I hate it, some days I just don’t care. Even at my best, I’m bound to do something that might annoy someone somewhere. I don’t like making mistakes. I don’t like being unlikeable. I’ve been known to fight and shout in my own ways.
“For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8, CSB)
The Guardians didn’t come together when they were a family largely healing and learning to treat others with grace. They came together and held each other up when they were in prison for trying to kill, kidnap, or at the very least steal from each other.
Jesus didn’t come for the version of me that I will be someday. He came for the mean version of me. He came for the version of me that makes mistakes. He came for the version of me who gave Him no reason to care. The version that tried to kill Him. But He cares anyway.
The Guardians didn't just accept the grace given to them and go on with business as usual. Grace changed them. The Guardians at the end of Vol. 3 are wildly different than the ones at the beginning of Vol. 1. They care more about each other. They trade in crime for protecting the galaxy. They give more grace themselves.
Jesus didn’t come and save me and then leave me to my own devices, He sticks with me, even though I make wrong choices over and over again and I’m just not quite there yet. But we will get there one day.
Grace is free, unmerited favor. I didn’t expect to find grace in Guardians of the Galaxy. Then again, I wouldn’t have expected to find grace towards me. But it’s still there.
If you’re feeling unlikeable today, maybe this is the time to remember that Someone still loves you no matter what you do or say, and that He has placed people around you who will extend you the same grace. And hey, maybe it’s time to rewatch Guardians of the Galaxy while you’re at it. You know, if that’s your thing.
*Who's your favorite Guardian? What did you think of the movies? Share your adventures in the comments below!*
What is February largely known for? I hear you saying Valentine’s Day. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)
So naturally, I’m here to talk about an entirely non-romantic movie.
I recently completed my first trip through all the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Aside from the Spider-Man films, my favorite movie was Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the second in the Captain America trilogy. Generally applauded as one of the best Marvel films ever made, it sports a good story, deep character arcs, and all-around amazingness.
But I took away from it one simple lesson that might connect to Valentine’s Day more than one might expect.
There will be some spoilers ahead for The Winter Soldier, so if you care about that kind of thing, you might want to pass on this one until you’ve seen the movie.
A large turning point for Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) in the first film was when his best friend Bucky Barnes fell off a train to his death due to an enemy attack. A very close second was when he crashed his own plane into the Arctic Ocean and was frozen for about seventy years.
Now that he’s been brought back seventy years after he crashed, he has a lot of catching up to do. And time hasn’t helped heal any of the losses.
He doesn’t have any time to grieve, either. He’s just uncovered a sketchy-looking project within his native organization SHIELD. And the person who uncovered it with him has just been attacked by a masked and silent assassin who goes only by the Winter Soldier.
Steve and fellow Avenger Natasha are the only ones left to discover just what this sketchy project is and who exactly is behind the mask of the Winter Soldier.
Spoiler: They do.
During a fight, his mask falls off and Steve recognizes his friend.
A lot of people would have cut their losses. Sure, it’s terribly sad. But Bucky could have chosen to work for them himself. And even if he didn’t, he’s likely so brainwashed that nothing will penetrate it. He’s killed dozens of people, including people they care about. Everything and everyone says he’s better left alone and taken out.
Steve disagrees. He’s certain his friend is still in there somewhere. Even though the Bucky in front of him has no idea who he is and doesn’t seem to care, Steve refuses to give up on him. He risks his life time and again to try and bring Bucky back.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not a very likable person sometimes. I make bad choices that morph into disasters. I have a lot of messy things tangled up in my mind. I hurt people that I care about. I hide a lot of my true self. Sometimes I don’t even know who I really am.
But Someone keeps coming after me. Someone believes in me when I don’t believe in myself. Someone shows me the way out. Someone puts Himself out there time and again, even when He knows I’ll hurt Him.
Someone gave up His life—literally everything He had—for me, when I was at my worst.
It’s so simple, yet so complex. I’ll never understand why He keeps coming after me, and yet, it’s so simple and natural, written into the very universe around us to the point that I can see an echo of it in a Marvel movie of all things.
Whether you feel like you can take on the world today or you feel like the worst person to walk this earth today, Someone is still coming after you. Someone is going to stick with you no matter what happens to you or what you do.
Till the end of the line.
Hi, I'm Rachel! I'm the author of the posts here at ProseWorthy. Thanks for stopping by!