What I Learned From Chadwick Boseman

Black Panther is what got me to notice Chadwick Boseman, but it was not until after he passed did I learn of two essential characteristics of who this man was. After I saw the movie, I Googled him and his co-stars like I’m in the habit of doing after every good movie I see. The first thing that caught my eye was that he was a Christian and prayed for the role of T’Challa before getting it. I got goosebumps just reading about that. Then after he passed, I saw numerous articles about what he did in his life come up on my social media feeds. One thing that stuck out was an article on him surprise-visiting sick children battling debilitating illnesses at a hospital all while he secretly was battling colon cancer himself. I was shocked and overwhelmed by emotion to say the least because as some of you may know, this hit home for me as colon cancer is exactly what my father passed away battling. On top of that I saw more recent pictures of him at an awards ceremony, when stage three had progressed to stage four, and he looked way skinny, like the way my father did at stage four. I’ve never met him or spoken to him, but I felt myself getting watery eyes reading about his life. Boseman was diagnosed with stage three back in 2016, which means he had it even while filming the action-packed movie, doing most of his own stunts, and I have no words except for:

Matthew 16:25 “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

The first quote is a Bible verse and I have no idea if it was his favorite one or anything, but it was the first one that popped into my head and I think it describes him well. Again, obviously I never knew him personally and can only make these observations from afar, but it seems to me that he tried to live his life in such a self-sacrificing way in order to do what God called him to do he would rather do it to lose his life on Earth if that meant dying to himself over and over again to live for Jesus. What I mean by that is I’ve seen firsthand the toll colon cancer can take on a person’s physical health and yet Boseman put others’ needs before that of maintaining his health. He still went in for treatments, but he did it in private, not wanting anyone to worry over him and insist he not work too hard or overexert himself or anything like that I’m sure. When he accepted a movie role, he gave it his all despite his condition because the Father’s will was that important to him.

The second quote is by someone I’m assuming well-known, but I’m sorry to say I don’t know who exactly. I just know I’ve heard it many times and it’s not that I never knew what it meant, but I feel like I really know what it means now through Boseman’s example. I had no idea he was battling colon cancer as I’m sure many of you who liked him didn’t either. The fact that he was able to hide something that big in his life so he could be an encourager for others is a true testament to his character. Imagine all the people he came into contact with having no idea what he was going through. How do they feel now, knowing the truth? What a humble man. Gosh, Chadwick Boseman really lived up to his movie role, but more than that, he knew how to be a superhero on the inside, too.

Someone may not be polite back to you. Someone may take their frustrations out on you. Someone may just not understand you. It’s okay. Don’t be so quick to judge, but please be kind back. You never know…

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