How do you define hero? The dictionary defines a hero (or heroine) as: 1) One who is admired for his or her achievements and qualities. 2) One that has great courage.
Who are your heroes? I suppose we all look for something different in those we admire. It used to be that heroes were those men and women we felt we could look up to as an example. I remember integrity as being qualifying factor “back in the day.”
Today we have a plethora of gridiron greats, baseball and basketball big names, and Nascar notables. In the entertainment industry there is the reigning rapper, the raucous rock bands, and who isn’t rooting for the next American Idol? Their careers are followed by their fans, who vicariously experience the thrill of their victories and the agony of their defeats. The “heroes” or “idols” as the case may be are held on a pedestal, until one morning you wake up to discover that one has lost his footing. Some secret has been disclosed, or worse, an unimaginable indiscretion has been exposed. It happens way too frequently, leaving their fans disappointed and disillusioned. But people, even those we view as heroes, are not perfect. Perhaps we should consider what we really deem “hero” qualities.
I’m finding my heroes in different places these days. Aside from the obvious Hero of Heroes, our Lord Jesus, the real heroes in my life, walking this earth, are the ones that go unnoticed by most. The recent tragedies in Boston and Moore, OK have brought police officials, and fire and rescue personnel to the forefront of my attention. Whether we happen to be watching it on the news or not, they are risking their lives every day for the safety of those they protect. And there is surely a hero in each and every soldier who has courageously left his family at an airport, not knowing whether he would return, just to preserve the freedom of all those athletes that we have such a tendency to lift up as “heroes,” and the freedom of every American citizen.
That being said, I have another whole band of heroes for you to consider. How about the young mom, the queen of multitasking, who is juggling multiple responsibilities as she faithfully cares for her home, husband and children every day? How about that husband who puts in a hard day’s work every day to support his family’s needs, returning home, faithfully, to His wife and family each night. Kudos to the husband and wife who struggle through their difficulties, trusting God instead of taking the easy way out, and remain faithful through the years, growing old together. They are true heroes! They are an example this nation desperately needs! How about the man or woman who takes the time to cross the street to check on an elderly neighbor they haven’t noticed out and about today? How about the woman who slides down the pew and quietly places an arm around the shoulder of the weeping young woman in church? How about the pastor who faithfully shepherds his flock, uncompromisingly sharing the Truth of God’s Word, whether it’s heeded or not? How about the man and woman of God who are willing to go to prison instead of denying their allegiance to Christ? It happens in many nations, and I believe it could happen here in the not so distant future. Where will the heroes be then? Will they be? How about the one who’s given their very life for the same? They are heroes! And how about the one who offers forgiveness and the hope of redemption to a fallen brother, rather than condemnation, and comes along side him in the process?
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:5-10)
Real heros are not those who present perfection. Real heroes are the meek, those who see and repent of their own sin. They know what Christ has done for them, and what He can do for others. They share it. These are the faithful, the unsung heroes, the real heroes of this day. They wear no crowns or royal robes. They serve without pomp and circumstance. No trumpet fanfare bursts forth when they enter a room. But this is the thing . . . It won’t be the skill of a sportsman, the talent of an entertainer, or the renown of world leaders that will make any real difference in our nation, or in this world, for that matter. It will be these faithful, who chose to follow Christ step by step, day by day, all the way to eternity. These are my heroes! Who are yours?
That’s the view from here. . .