Life, Some Faces of Heroism

Some Faces of Heroism

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“We do not live for ourselves. We live to serve Christ.” ~Steve Rundle

In a day when we are encouraged to live for ourselves—the above quote sounds so counter-cultural. Yet, having this mindset and being attuned to Jesus’ promptings within can lead to heroic actions.

People who set themselves aside—their convenience, their comfort, even their reputation to help another—these are heroes.

Here are a few descriptions and stories that have moved me deeply:

  1.  A man who risks his life defending his country—both to protect fellow soldiers and so his countrymen may live in freedom. (Read here)
  2. A teenage boy dying from cancer who gives his “Wish” to a local ministry that feeds the hungry and poor in his community. (Watch here and read the follow up here)**
  3. A young woman who survives a brutal attack. An attack which came because of her firm conviction that girls should be given an education. (Read here)
  4. A teenage boy who apologizes for the crime his father committed against an older woman. He did it “because it was the right thing to do.” And, he offers restitution. (Watch here)**
  5. A dying mother who creates memories with and for her children, assembling scrap books and writing cards for those special moments in their lives that she won’t get to live with them. (Yes, I posted this one last week. In case you missed it, you can visit it again here)**

In a society where the mantra, “Watch out for number one,” is the norm, looking out for others is not what most people practice. These selfless acts move me to tears. What is it within a person that moves him or her to look beyond themselves to do what will touch another at a heart level?

I love reading fictional stories of heroism, but when I read and hear those real life stories? Those are the ones that touch me the deepest. And ignite within me the desire to be more than I am at this moment.

Self-sacrifice, the willingness to reach out to and for others, regardless of the possible repercussions paints beauty over sorrow, and hope over despair.

What about you? How would you define heroism? Do you have a story to share about a real life hero?

**I originally came across these stories on Ann Voskamp’s blog, A Holy Experience.

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7 thoughts on “Some Faces of Heroism”

  1. I’m inspired to be more than myself – but I know I can never be like them. There’s a gulf between me and that degree of selflessness that I feel I can never cross, like that between the rich man and Lazarus the Beggar.

    I guess the definition, for me, is Fr. Maximillian Kolbe, who took the place of a condemned man in a German concentration camp.

    The man Fr. Kolbe replaced had a family, and had been selected for death by random. He survived the war, and died only recently.

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    1. Wow, Andrew. I hadn’t heard of Fr. Kolbe. What a selfless act. Definitely a hero in my mind.

      Being inspired to be more than who we are right now is probably a good thing. But, that doesn’t mean who we might be is defined or traced out by the heroic acts of others. I’m just now thinking about this, but what if we are open to the opportunities God allows into our lives. What if we look beyond ourselves in the moment and see the need of another and reach out to that person in the ways God has created us to be able to?

      I’m finding selflessness is a process.I’m definitely not as selfless as I would like to be either. I think God works it into the fabric of who we are a stitch at a time rather than all at once. I don’t know if this makes sense.

      And for the record, pouring out selflessness for the dogs you and your wife have rescued and cared for is pretty amazing in my book.

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      1. like that – selflessness is a process. Seeing God working it in a stitch at a time is a nice image.

        And – thank you. We just couldn’t turn away, and leave those dogs to their fate.

        I have jumped into situations in which I felt I could right a wrong, and have been called ‘heroic’ for that. Certainly I carry some physical reminders of those times.

        But it wasn’t heroism at all. I would have given ANYTHING for the possibility of a different choice. But it’s kind of like that line from the classic film “Zulu”, about the siege of Rorke’s Drift: The scene is about 4000 Zulus descending on 100 British soldiers…

        Trooper: “Why? Why us?”
        Sergeant: “Because we’re here, lad. No one else. Just us.”

        It’s just what you’ve got to do when you’re there.

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  2. Oh, just the word hero moves my soul! So many, many people perform heroic acts seen only by the Father. I am grateful He sees their heart and their deeds. Matthew 6:1-4)

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