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?

8 thoughts on “In Community with Losers

  1. I’m with you, Dave. One hundred percent, well, until I get caught up in myself again. For now, though, I choose purpose over pity. I really, really, really do and I want to keep on choosing it and I will and I might need a reminder or two. You and Shari and Beth feel free to thump me on the head when I need it, okay?

    • Kim, I’m so glad that you are in community with this loser because it’s in community that the grace of mutual encouragement is shared. Just hearing you say, “I choose purpose” is an inspiration to me and to the rest of us. We’ll all be there for you whenever you could use some help choosing purpose. And we’re sure you’ll be there for us when we could use a helpful “thump.”

  2. There are three good things about having one foot in the grave, Dave…

    1 – It’s really good defilade against anything except very lucky indirect fire.
    2 – You can smoke all the cheap cigars you want and your doctor asks for brand recommendations
    3 – You realize that you never really lost anything.

    The dead people in my life…well, in the words of Rudyard kipling…”an’ I’ll see ‘im later on, in the place where ‘e ‘as gone, where it’s always double drill and no canteen…”

    The missed opportunities…I believe that God saves these up, the good ones, and that we have a big pile of presents waiting for us when we get ‘ome…sorry, HOME.

    This life is part of a continuum for me, something that stretches through the vibrantly dynamic stasis of eternity, where everything that goes around REALLY comes around.

    We will be young again.
    We will laugh again.
    And we will find that those holes in our pockets, through which we feared we lost so much, merely formed a beloved path back to our future home in Heaven.

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