My name is Scott McDaniel and I am a comic book artist blessed to have contributed to the legacy of Marvel Comics’ characters Daredevil, Elektra, Green Goblin, Spider-Man (and a few others) as well as DC Comics’ characters Nightwing, Batman, Superman, Robin, Green Arrow (and a few others). My artistic ability is a gift from God for which I am very grateful. But the greatest gift from God that I am most thankful for is His Son, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I wasn’t always a Christian. I wasn’t always a professional artist, either. I left behind a career in electrical engineering to pursue my passion for comic book stories and art. As a boy, I loved the action and adventure of comic books as much as I loved the exploration and adventure of math and science. Those dual passions were always present in my life. In fact, my college notebooks had as many sketches in them as classroom notes. As I entered adulthood, my worldview was that math was the true foundation of the universe, and that ultimately, somehow, mathematics and probability were clearly capable of explaining everything that we could ever experience. I was a good guy, a nice guy, and that surely would have given me a ‘pass’ if there indeed turned out to be some sort of Judgment Day. Devotion to a grandfather-in-the-sky was for those weak people who needed the comfort Sky-Grandfather offered. But once I was forced to honestly and critically examine those beliefs, they began to break apart, and even more surprising changes were coming.
I married my high-school sweetheart, and we soon had a son. Great joy! My wife, who was much more inclined to the Christian faith than me, wanted to raise our son in a Church setting. Fine, I thought, nothing wrong with a little morality to get him started down the right path. We began attending a terrific, small American Baptist Church, and all was well. But every time she would gently start a discussion about Jesus, I would get ‘creeped out’ and find ways to quickly change the subject! But then came that day when our son was to be ‘dedicated,’ and that brought me to a crossroads in my life: do I stand by my wife and promise to raise our son in the spirit and nurture of the Lord (and lie), or do I sit it out and have my wife stand alone? God was using my wife and son to get my focused attention. Great dilemma!
I seriously wrestled with my own personal faith at this crossroad. That small church we attended was strongly grounded in Scripture, God’s Holy Word, and over time I learned a great deal about this “Sky-Grandfather” that I didn’t know before. I read the Bible more on my own, and what impressed me most in those early days was the honesty with which it represented the human condition, and MY human condition to be specific – my secret passions, my hidden greed, my base selfishness. God’s Word made no secret of the things we do to hurt one another – it revealed them with perfect clarity. It was honest. It accurately represented all the darkness I had experienced in my own life. It showed me that what I had previously thought was ‘good enough’ was truly ‘filthy rags.’ It showed me that, despite my attempts to be good, I had that darkness in me. I was truly a sinner. And sinners need a Savior. I was out of my league. I was not wrestling with a weak and elderly Sky-Grandfather. I was wrestling with Almighty God.
So one night, quietly in bed as I wrestled with my faith, I surrendered my life to Christ. I prayed what people call “The Sinner’s Prayer.” It’s not a formal thing, but it goes something like this: “I am a sinner. A real price has to be paid for that sin. Jesus Christ has already paid that price by his suffering, death on the cross and his resurrection into eternal life. I accept Jesus as my Lord so that his payment covers my sin, and that I can share in his eternal life.” Then I peacefully fell asleep.
When I woke the next morning, I was still the same guy. No lightning heralded my conversion. No angelic choir appeared to sing glorious songs. I still had most (if not truly all) of the faults I had before I surrendered to Christ. However, I was now on the path of sanctification. I now had Christ’s promised Counselor, the Holy Spirit of God, indwelling me, guiding me. Slowly, oh so slowly, over time, my life was, and still is, being redirected into a life that mirrors the perfect life of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The best evidence of the reality of my salvation is this (and I can think of no other way to explain this): when I thought of myself, I imagined myself as a darkness in the void. After my surrender to Christ, whenever I think of myself, I imagine a light is within me. And it’s not my light, but it is the light of Christ that is shining in my life.
My relationship with Jesus Christ is an active and growing one. My faith in Jesus Christ grows continually. I’m not talking about ‘religion’ and its formal structures and institutions. I’m talking about ‘faith,’ a vibrant and real personal relationship with my Savior Jesus. I share everything with Jesus: all my joys, all my thanksgivings, all my sorrows, all my failures, all my secrets. And I try to listen closely to his inspiration and guidance. Real relationships are two-way streets, and this one is no different.
What impresses me most now in my walk with Christ is His teaching that love is the true foundation of the universe. We are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. Beautifully simple.
My name is Scott McDaniel. I am a fallen man. I am a sinner. And I am utterly thankful to our Sovereign, Almighty Father God that He gives us a righteousness we could never achieve on our own, and that is the righteousness of His Son, Jesus Christ. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
I wish you all a very blessed Easter. Jesus is risen!
Comic book artist. Sinner redeemed by the Lamb of God.