In Community with Losers

GUARDIANS2A month ago, I went to see a movie with a bunch of losers—my daughter, Claire, my son, Sam, and his girlfriend, Morgan.

Then my wife and I were out with some friends—real losers, too—and they invited us to see the same movie with them.

After taking in the movie a couple of times, I thought my other loser daughter, Elisabeth, would enjoy the story. So, I invited her on a father-daughter date to see the new Marvel film, Guardians of the Galaxy.

If you’ve seen the movie, you already know where I’m going.

There is a scene in which Peter “Star Lord” Quill is attempting to rally his band of misfit companions to take heroic action. Knowing that interceding on behalf of defenseless innocents who are in peril will likely cost them their lives, Star Lord clumsily reaches for inspiration:

“I look around at all of us and do you know what I see? Losers.”

[There’s an awkward pause as the others look at him quizzically]

“I mean, like, folks who’ve lost stuff.”

Quill is aware that every member of his band has a back story that includes intense suffering and great loss. But now a moment has arrived for each of them. Instead of running from loss, brooding over loss, or seeking vengeance for loss, it’s time for each of these losers to care about someone else. It’s time for them to stop pursuing selfish ends and to offer themselves sacrificially for others’ sake.

The beauty of redemption is this paradoxical truth: Those who have lost the most are the ones who have the most to offer. The biggest losers among us are best equipped to comfort, encourage, and defend others who are facing loss.

And, as Peter Quill discovered, being in community with other losers is a great advantage when our goal is helping others. As a community of losers, we can pool our losses, and share together in God’s gracious comfort. Then—together– we can offer to others the riches of God’s grace that we’ve received in our own afflictions.

Now, I want to set the record straight. Claire, Sam, Morgan, Elisabeth and my good friends are all winners. They’re only losers in the sense that they, too, are “folks who’ve lost stuff.” Like Star Lord and his companions, they are familiar with the pain of loss.

That’s because, in this age, everyone is loser. There are no exceptions.

But when we trust Christ—who suffered the ultimate loss for our eternal gain—we are losers who are equipped  to participate in His galaxy-saving mission.

So, here’s my inspirational speech:

Let’s be losers in community. Let’s be losers with purpose.

Who’s with me?