Kristine and I dropped the baby off with the sitter last week so we could go on a rare late afternoon date to the movies. We were both so excited to see Wonder Woman and we were not disappointed!
What neither one of us expected was how many connections we discovered between both the character of Diana (aka Wonder Woman), Gal Gadot who plays her, and some pretty awesome ladies in the Bible. Three connections in particular struck us: 1) Warrior, 2) Daughter, and 3) Mother.
First of all, Wonder Woman is of course an incredibly powerful and skilled warrior. The fight sequences in the film are nothing short of spectacular. We were also grateful that these scenes were always at the service of the story and not the other way around. That isn't always the case today!
As I was intrigued to discover later on, Gal Gadot spent a few years serving in the Israeli Defense Forces as a combat trainer. I'm not sure how much this had to do with her casting, but it's certainly an interesting piece of trivia. As we watched Wonder Woman kicking some serious butt in defense of the defenseless, I couldn't help but think about Judith in the Old Testament. I won't relate the whole story here, but suffice it to say, Judith wasn't one to sit back and watch as her people suffered. Go and read the story - it's a pretty bold one!
The second connection is that of daughter and one true hope. Gadot is descended from European Jewish survivors of the Holocaust who moved to Israel after WWII. Her character, Diana, is the sole child and future hope of the Amazons of ancient Greek mythology. Diana is destined to be the one who will take on great evil and do so with a deep and abiding faith in who she is and the mission with which she alone has been entrusted.
Here, I am reminded of Esther, the young Hebrew girl living in the midst of the mighty Persian Empire. Descendant of persecuted ancestors who were first taken into captivity in Babylon, Esther finds herself married to King Xerxes and later called to be the sole advocate of her people who stand at the brink of annihilation unless she defends them. To go before the king without having been summoned is a death sentence, and Esther must decide whether or not she is courageous enough to be the true daughter of Israel and ask for the king's mercy. Again, go check out the story!
Finally, we come to the incomparable role of mother. Gal Gadot is the mother of two daughters and some of her scene reshoots were filmed while she was several months pregnant with her second child. While not a literal mother, Diana is revealed to be a mother figure and guardian of all humanity. She genuinely loves the human race and is resolved to give her entire self in service to all.
No one in the history of the world has had this attitude more deeply ingrained in her soul than the Mother of Our Lord, Mary of Nazareth. She draws everyone to Jesus and she stands always at his side, instructing all souls to "Do whatever he tells you" (John 2:5). Mary is the consummate mother: entirely selfless, always nourishing and instructing, and filled with nothing but grace and the limitless desire to see her children saved from all harm. To close, I invite you to check out the images below - ancient Medieval depictions of just how determined Mary is to protect you from the Evil One. Finally, go see Wonder Woman as soon as you can!