Why Having a Hero Matters
When I was a young, my dad was my first hero. He was a firefighter. As he arrived home at the end of his shift, it was hard to contain my excitement. When he saw me he’d clap three times. This was my signal to jump into his arms for a daddy-daughter twirl. As he lifted me, I smelled the smoke of his latest victory.
Over the years, I’ve seen and read about many heroic figures. Some are quite impressive. The bravado of others fizzled out. But having a hero matters. They inspire us with their strength and compel us to persevere. If you don’t have much faith in heroes you may want to reconsider. Sooner or later we all need rescue.
Heroes answer a cry for help. As I grew older I became more interested in the details of my dad’s job. He’d tell us stories about people who were trapped in a burning house or building. I was fascinated as he described kicking down doors or breaking out windows to rescue those in need.
When someone cries for help a hero jumps into action. And yet, the scream doesn’t always come from the flames in a fire. When we encounter a crisis in life, rescue is imperative too. Until we call for or receive help, we may become immobilized by a variety of factors.
“But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears.” (Psalm 18:6 NLT)
Heroes brave the conditions others would not. While battling a fire one day, a brick wall fell on my dad. Miraculously, he escaped major injury; but it was a reminder of his vulnerability. When I asked him why he was so close to the wall, he said someone was in danger of smoke inhalation.
Smoke inhalation became a familiar term to me. It is the overwhelming effect of a fire’s smoke on anyone without access to adequate oxygen. The desire to breath is unrelenting but the capacity to do so is impossible. However, being overwhelmed doesn’t just happen in a fire. It also happens when life’s demands exceed our strength.
“When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:6-8 NLT)
Heroes lead by example. There’s a tendency to emulate those we admire. Their character traits or sense of style can easily become our own. However, in our zeal we can confuse a hero’s exploits with their ability to escape imperfection. Just like the rest of us, my dad has his flaws. But as he points our family to Christ we’re reminded He is the One we each should follow.
Whether your hero lives in your community or in your imagination, here’s some good news: knowing we’re in need of rescue, God sent His Son to save us. Having Him as our Hero brings hope to the heart and joy to the soul.
“We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” (Hebrews 11:2 NLT)