I have seen Wonder Woman three times now. Do not adjust your monitors, you read that correctly. Three times. And I am not ashamed.
I thought of myself, how seeing powerful women accomplish great things stirs me to greatness. But then, I thought of my daughters. And No Man’s Land.
I know it’s just a movie, my loves. It’s only a story at the end of the day. But what we ultimately see in stories, in art, and have since time was new, is ourselves and who we want to be. We are inspired, and so we believe. And when we believe is when great things happen.
And hers was a story worth telling.
If it wasn’t Princess Buttercup, having since cinematically evolved into a ferocious amazon warrior, charging across a beach, bow and arrow in hand, then it was young Diana on horse back, riding through a field of golden flowers, hair in the wind, wildly free.
It wasn’t just Diana and her lasso of truth, her sword and shield at the ready, it was also her inner compass that guided her to her truth, and her compulsion to always do the right thing. Even when those around her did not deserve her unwavering grace.
I WAS ROMANCED BY ALL OF IT. BY THE WOMEN WHO MADE THINGS HAPPEN.
If it had to be one scene, though, that encapsulated why this film, this story, was so powerful, it was when Diana crossed the field known as No Man’s Land.
Frustrated at being told no at every turn, that she was not the one to help, that today was not the day to intervene, that she could not trust her instincts, that she must look away from the pain, violence and chaos around her, and not feel it when she sees the innocent suffer, she decides that doing nothing is not an option.
Diana decides to climb a ladder from the pits and lead the way.
Even if she had to do it alone.
I’m not an idiot. I know how this world works.
I know that it can squeeze the life out of you, out of anyone that it perceives as weak. And from what we know, it sometimes views compassion and grace as a form of lacking. As naivete. With cold indifference and smugness, it will tell you that you are not the one.
That today is not the day.
That to win, you must not feel, must not count the costs. At least, not the costs for others.
That it will be every man for themselves.
That you must preserve and steel yourself against loss and sacrifice to survive.
THAT YOU MUST NEVER SHOW GRACE TO THOSE WHO DO NOT DESERVE YOU.
I can’t tell you that it will be easy. I cannot tell you that it will be fair.
To be who you are. And to believe that you can.
But you must believe it anyway. Because what you do is not up to them.
This is not some fleeting message of girl power.
I can’t tell you how to conquer the world. I can’t tell you how to right every wrong, because we all know that it can’t be entirely fixed. At least, not in this plane of existence.
But in you is so much life, so much goodness. And it is what you choose to do with such things that will reveal what you are, and who are you.
It is in times of joy that we know who we want to be. It is in conflict that we find out the truth of who we are.
We are at war, every day.
Today is your day. This is the time. And we need you.
Perhaps we don’t have gauntlets. We don’t have shields and swords. We cannot always expect to conquer and restore with brute strength, and must instead prevail with our character and spirit.
Such weapons seem far less effectual then we would like. We feel as though we are standing on the battle field unclothed, seen for what we truly are. Meek.
But every inch we move toward grace, toward love, is an inch more toward something greater.
It is with arms outstretched to those around us who hurt and who are broken, cruciform in appearance, that we will welcome grace to enter in.
It is with a heart that seeks to love, understand and give grace that we can actually see the broken around us for what they truly are without begrudging them their pain.
It is with your will that you can choose today to step out and inspire the people behind you to do the same.
No Man’s Land is the place we cross when all other methods do not work, when we need to make a new way. I believe in a Christ who crossed no man’s land and made a way, so that we can do the same by His hand. Where He tread so shall we. In the dark of the tomb where He turned death to life, so shall we leave darkness behind, giving way to a dawn of a new type justice. One where hope wins.
Empathy knows no usual suspects. Neither do courage and loyalty, honor and strength.
In you, I see these things. Riding freely through a field of gold, arms outstretched without fear. Just as I see it before a field that we are told we cannot cross.
When they fire at you, you can take it. And when you want to throw in the towel is when you will have to fight the hardest.
Because what you do is not up to them. Because pain makes you stronger. Because you see that what they deserve, you also deserve. But it is not the portion you are given.
Your cup, your portion, is wonder. Beyond logic and reasoning.
And so you give your portion to others who deserve the same as you once did. Because this is what you believe.
Walk on, my girls.
This article originally appeared at This Heart.