There’s been a lot written about the Randian undertones in Brad Bird’s movies, particularly The Incredibles. The sequel Incredibles 2 is a bit more blurry in its messaging, but one thing is clear: the movie worries that everyday people too quickly live vicariously through famous or “great” people. From Screenslaver’s monologue to Mr. Incredible’s storyline to the entire idea of “supers,” the film imagines the heroic as the small and the local.
For Living Lutheran, I wrote about how that theme relates to Christianity. Story after story in the Bible features people responding to the needs and problems right in front of them:
This lesson appears throughout the Bible, in stories such as the parable of the good Samaritan and Philip’s encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch. Both examples feature people advancing the kingdom of heaven—Philip when he helps the eunuch understand Isaiah’s prophecies and the Samaritan when he cares for his brutalized neighbor. The former has large impact, spreading the gospel into Africa, while the latter has smaller stakes, simply helping someone in need. But both earn praise for doing Christ’s work.
Scripture gives us no reason to believe that Philip is inherently better than the Samaritan, or vice-versa. The two men simply encountered a need and responded to it. They did what they could with what was before them, not worrying about how small or important it was.