As a kid, I don’t remember seeing the huge number of superheroes we’re now surrounded by. Today the endless list includes such notables as Spider Man, Wonder Woman, Captain America, Iron Man, Black Panther, Thor, and Aquaman. Lots of blockbuster movies!
Growing up in the 1950s, I would tune my TV each week to an exciting black-and-white series that always started the same way:
“Faster than a speeding bullet…more powerful than a locomotive…able to leap tall buildings in a single bound…IT’S SUPERMAN!”
No one in the series knew Superman’s true identity, because he was disguised as Clark Kent – a mild-mannered reporter for the Daily Planet newspaper. It was an effective disguise, because Clark didn’t seem anything like a superhero.
In each episode, Clark would disappear into a phone booth and then emerge as Superman. Lately as I’ve pondered that transformation, I’ve come to a startling conclusion: The true hero of the series was not Clark Kent or even Superman – it was the PHONE BOOTH!
Think about it…
A simple phone booth could turn a bumbling, common man like Clark into an invincible hero like Superman! Wouldn’t YOU like to have a phone booth like that?!
And this led me to another conclusion as I’ve grieved over what could have caused the powerless condition of much of the American church today:
IT’S HARD TO FIND A PHONE BOOTH THESE DAYS!
If you’re a Millennial or younger, it’s possible you’ve never even seen a phone booth. But during my childhood, they were everywhere. Clark Kent never had to travel far before finding the closest one.
Who removed all the phone booths? It must’ve been a diabolical plot of the enemy.
Jesus, in a roundabout way, talked about the value of phone booths. Based on the KJV of Matthew 6:6, you’ve probably heard these referred to as “prayer closets,” but the same principle is true: It’s a place you can go into as Clark Kent and come out of as Superman!
Even the religious leaders of the Sanhedrin came to recognize this amazing truth. The boldness of Peter and John was astonishing, because they clearly were just “ordinary men.” What could their secret be? the distinguished rabbis wanted to know.
After giving this baffling situation some thought, the leaders concluded there was only one possible explanation for the courage of Peter and John: “They had been with Jesus!” (Acts 4:13).
How tragic that most of us are glued to our cell phones 24/7 but can’t seem to find a phone booth or prayer closet where we can spend time with Jesus. While God wants to turn us into superheroes who can turn the world upside down once again (Acts 17:6-7), we remain like Clark Kent instead.
Here’s an idea…
Perhaps it’s time for your church budget to set aside some money for phone booths! While I’m not necessarily against big buildings or even fancy smoke and light shows, I’m beginning to think phone booths would be a much more impactful investment.