When the brilliant and egotistical Doctor Strange has a bad car accident he loses the use of his hands. Suddenly he is no longer the exceptional neuro-surgeon he was, and he must find a way to start again. When he hears about a guy who lost the ability to walk then somehow regained it he goes looking to find out what happened, and ends up in Kathmandu where his whole understanding of reality is seriously challenged.
There is more to this world than meets the eye, and the Ancient One is willing to show him, if he is willing to learn. But this is tough for the strange doctor, he is used to a world he can see and touch and control. As fantastic as this film is, (and there are mind-boggling, eye-popping scenes here, where buildings bend and twist around each other, and people run up walls and walk on ceilings,) there is a deep truth going on. There really is another reality, and like the strange Doctor, we are often unaware of it. At one moment in the story Doctor Strange freezes time, and while he battles, the general public remain frozen in the cafes, homes and high streets. As soon as the battle is won the people resume their lives none the wiser. Totally unaware.
If we are to believe the stories in the Bible there is a hidden realm, a spiritual dimension, a Godly zone. And most of the time we don’t see it. It is huge, much bigger and broader than our physical world. When Jesus took his friends up a mountain one day he gave them a glimpse of that world. He transformed before their eyes and they were overcome and amazed. (Mark 9 vv 2-10) When Jesus had finished his three years as a rabbi on earth he again took his followers up to a mountain ridge, and as they watched he just disappeared, melting from one dimension to the next. (Acts 1 vv 9-12) The whole account of Revelation is like Jesus pulling back the curtain on that invisible world, showing John the writer all kinds of extraordinary events and characters and battles. Not unlike some of the scenes in the comic book world. God gave us this physical world and most of the time we are asked to prioritise it and treat it well. But occasionally the curtain is pulled back, and for a fleeting moment we are reminded that there is so much more. God’s brilliant reality. And one day, it will be our home. (And who knows, maybe there we’ll be able to run up walls and walk on ceilings…)