My Geeky Faith: From Batman to Faith
In life, people go through a variety of struggles, and they have to find a way to cope with those struggles. For many, those struggles are merely trying to find a place to fit in. Maybe you’re like me and you went through a lot of bullying and felt like an outcast? My name is Dallas, and over the years I’ve been through a lot, but where I first found some sort of hope was amid Geek Culture. Let me explain…
I was born with what’s known as bilateral clubbed feet. It’s a deformity where one foot or both appear to have been rotated internally at the ankle. Without treatment, people with club feet often seem to walk on their ankles or on the sides of their feet. Being bilateral, I had both feet rotated. After many years of surgery, special shoes, and inserts, I had gotten to the point where I could walk, but it was undoubtedly on the sides of my feet most of the time. This condition made typical kid stuff like running, hiking, etc. difficult to do.
Because I couldn’t do what the other boys were doing, I was instantly an outcast. I was an easy target for other eight-year-olds and school ground bullies. While my mom was always there for me, sadly my step-father (whom I had always looked up to as the manliest man I’ve known) did not have much patience for me. At age eight things weren’t too terrible, but still, the feeling of being an outcast was real.
Enter the upper elementary ages, and into middle school, the bullying begins to escalate. Most of the kids in my local school were big into farming, sports, and other such things. They found their identity in what was around them, and they flourished. Sadly, I was about as opposite from all of that as one could be. I didn’t like running; I loved watching movies like Logan’s Run (1976). I didn’t like sports, but I liked comics about intergalactic games that held the fate of the universe! Beyond that, I really felt like I could connect with these characters that I read about. Many that I gravitated to were outcasts in society or suffered from something tragic in their community. These characters gave me hope.
I was fortunate enough to make a friend who was just as geeky as me and had access to some of those geeky things. Later I moved to another state and discovered a whole community of geeks who understood and spoke my language… geek. For the first time, I felt connected to a community of individuals. I no longer felt alone, I no longer felt like I was a lost orphan in this world. The geek community was something that encouraged me.
Around this same time, I came to faith in Jesus Christ. I was presented with the Gospel during one of my darkest of hours and I experienced a greater hope than anything in geek culture ever gave me; I experienced salvation. I was drawn to stories of underdogs who rose to fight giants and became kings. Stories of people who were bullied and pushed to the side, yet through their struggles became the exact person needed to save a country. Their strength didn’t come through gamma radiation or biological changes, it came through faith in the one true God. It didn’t take long for me to draw connections between the stories of Geek Culture and the stories of God. Being able to point back to characters in comics and movies actually helped me to understand scriptures better.
As the years flew by, I found connection both in the church and in geek culture. Between the two, no matter what was going on I knew I had a community that backed me and supported me. Both inspired me in different ways. Like Batman and members of the early church, I had gone through a tragedy and instead of allowing it to make me a victim; I used it to spur me to make a difference. For me; my tragedy made me feel unloved and abandoned, even amid a crowd of people. I vowed that I’d do my best to see those lost in dark places feeling alone and then bring them hope. Bring them hope of community; bring them the hope of Jesus Christ.
Dallas is the Online Community Pastor at The Healing Place in Shreveport, Louisiana. Dallas and his wife, Celeste, are the creators of the YouTube show/ministry called Geek Devotions where they weekly take geeky and pop culture items and use them to point people back to Jesus and let them know that they are loved. Their tagline for the show is: Geek Devotions is the show from Devoted Geeks who are devoted to letting people know that they are loved. Dallas' geekery began at an early age with an attachment to Batman. To date, he's seen every single Batman movie aside from the Adam West one in theaters. Something he hopes to remedy one day.
Find Geek Devotions at: www.geekdevotions.com
Something I love about being a geek is the geek community where we can all share our stories! Keep your eye on the blog for more upcoming stories from my geeky friends (in real life, and from all the reaches of the internet!).
Do you have a story to share about how geek culture has influenced your life and faith? Email me for more details to be featured on The Hoot & Howl!