A Damsel in Distress




I was sitting outside at a friend’s home while their children played in the pool. “Watch this Pastor Susan”, was the cry out and I was enjoying watching them play and interacting with them.

Adam was the first one out of the pool. He quickly got a squirt gun and began to take out the imaginary bad guys that were roaming around in the backyard, infringing on his freedom and his territory. You have to know Adam, he’s very observant and quiet, well mannered, thoughtful, and 5 years old. He came quietly to me and said, “Pastor Susan, pretend you’re the girl that the bad guys want to get. You yell, ‘Help, Help’, and I’ll shoot them for you.” So we played. Did you know a squirt gun can spray icky sticky Spiderman web fluid all the way to the clouds to protect the girl in trouble? Adam’s dad is a police officer, so as Superhero Adam captured the imaginary bad guys he did his due diligence and asked them for their driver’s license and he ran it through his imaginary machine. I suppose even Superheroes have to check for priors, or outstanding warrants.

It made me smile because most men want to rescue a damsel in distress. John Eldredge tells us that  a man needs a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue. Dr. Laura Schlessinger would tell you that when you rescue a damsel in distress then all you get is a distressed damsel. Both are correct but written into the heart of this boy is that he wants to be a hero and he needs my female approval that he is doing his service to mankind.

I wanted to tell Adam that there will be many battles to fight, but not all them will be a hill to die on. I wanted to tell him that life can be an adventure and that he should enjoy as many adventures as he can. I wanted to tell him that rescuing a beauty means a whole different thing to his generation where women aren’t sure they need rescuing and men have been emasculated.  I wanted to tell him all of that but he’s five and we’ll have conversations as he grows. For now, I want to keep his fantasy going for a little while longer. I will pray over him that he finds the right woman, at the right time, and that she is healthy and strong and compliments him well for his entire life moving forward. For now I will pray that she always thinks he’s her superhero.  There will be plenty of time for these talks later. In the moment I am having fun. His younger brother Mark comes and joins in to play  with us and I stayed the damsel in distress as they cleared the backyard of bad guys.