Wednesday, July 04, 2007


There's more than meets the eye.

On the surface, Transformers is simply the new action-packed film featuring alien beings who transform themselves into our cars, trucks, planes, and electronic devices (so keep an eye on your ipod or your dvd player lest they get up and start walking around on their own).

Like the film itself, the message of the movie gets clearer once you peel away the ear-popping explosions and eye-stimulating special effects.

Ironically, Transformers, a mid-summer popcorn movie, is really a film about going deeper.

On the surface, our characters have a certain perception to others around them: Sam Witwicky (played by Shia LaBeouf) is just your average, picked-on teenager; Mikaela Banes (Meghan Fox) is just your average, good-looking, hangs-out-with-the-popular-guys kind of girl; and Sam's car is just a beat-up 1977 Chevrolet Camero. On the surface, that is.

But like the car, which "transforms" into Bumblebee, a mute Autobot with a talent for bringing young lovers together, Sam and Mikaela are much more than meets the eye.

Sam is an Ebay regular, a fun-loving but devoted son, who wants to seek out the truth about and one day grow up to be like his grandfather and his epic adventures in the Artic. Mikaela is someone escaping her past and her tragic family story, but also a girl who knows more than most about cars, driving, and engines.

If we didn't get to know them, we'd have written them off as run-of-the-mill teenagers, as the lovable geek or the hot cheerleader-type. And if we didn't know better (and we weren't in a Transformers movie), the 1977 Camero would just be someone's beat-up first car.

Sam, Mikaela, and Bumblebee (not to mention Autobot leader Optimus Prime, Australian computer genious Maggie Madsen, or Army Captain Lennox, among others) are just like us. Sometimes we feel like we're judged on who we appear on the outside, without anyone noticing our deeper stories, our real motives, or our fascinating past. Sometimes we believe everyone else who says that's all we really are.

Society today even reinforces our stereotype and the perceptions people have. We're put into demographic "boxes," but what angers us is that those "boxes" don't fit. They aren't us.
We easily classified by our jobs, our marital status, our towns, our economic bracket, our appearances, our clothes, our skin color, our religious preferences, our political affiilation, or whatever other "box" they have put us in.

Even if the world looks at us like this, God doesn't. And people of God shouldn't.

If we are to become people of God, then we need to look at others as "transformers" too. Like us, everyone else has a complex backstory and an incredible future ahead. We need to see others beyond their "box" and imagine what marvelous things we'll discover. In the Scriptures, Jesus even says, "Aren't you more than the food you eat or the clothes you wear?" (Mt. 6:25)

Our responsiblity is to believe that we are more than meets the eye, and to believe that everyone else is, too.

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