Do You Have a Hero?

Do You Have a Hero?
By Steve Smith

Most all of us have heroes in life. We have people whom we respect and love, who have taught, led, guided and directed us in one or many areas of our lives. These men and women are a gift to us, some are around for a season and some for a lifetime, but regardless of how long they invest in us God uses them to shape us. I am thinking of just one in particular.

My greatest hero in this life is without question my Dad. Basically everything I know is because of him. 

My Dad showed me and taught me by example how to treat a woman, and especially one you love. He respected, cared for and showed affection to my Mom all of my life and still does as they both age and face difficulties together. It was not and is not perfect, but it was a beautiful example of marriage, and still is after 61 years.

As I grew up my Dad loved me enough to discipline me properly. Yes, my Dad even spanked me when I screwed up, and I deserved it a lot more than it happened. And every time he did, he told me he loved me after wards. I may have doubted it then but I am grateful for it now.

He has taught me from the time I was able to be a hard worker, and he set an example second to none. From the time I was 5, I knew I wanted to do what my Dad did: drive truck and deliver salt. Thankfully that has come to pass, I have worked for and with my Dad for 38 years since graduating high school and I have always loved what I do, because I watched him love what he did. At 81, he is still working.

Helping others is another thing I have watched my Dad do all my life. From neighbors, to friends and employees there is not one person who has been around my Dad for any length of time that he has not helped in some way. Whether it was with counsel, automobiles, homes or finances, I saw him extend a helping hand to all who crossed his path, even when they did not deserve it many times.

Most importantly, my Dad was and is faithful to God. Not perfect by any means, faithful. My Dad knows he is a sinful person and would be the first to admit it. And he also knows Jesus died on the cross to forgive his sins and rose from the dead for his hope of life after death. He has told me all my life, “Going to church is not for God, it is for us to receive from God what only he can give, the forgiveness of our sins.” 

Because of what my Dad has taught me in life, love and faith we have a mutual hero in Jesus, one who died, lives and reigns forever, which is our hope together forever in glory. Jesus is the greatest hero ever!!

As glorious as that is, and it is, there is a really hard part now in this life. Watching my hero as age and time take their toll is one of the most difficult things in life for me right now. My hero cannot do what he used to and what he wants to. Not only is this difficult for me, but for him it’s devastating some days. Despite this, and actually because of this and how my Dad is dealing with these things he is all the more my hero, and I only hope when the time comes for me I can do it with half the grace I see him do it with.

Do you have a hero? Maybe it’s not your Dad, but I suspect many if not all of you have one, someone who invested in you. Do you, or have you found it hard to watch your heroes age? Or has your hero passed on? If you are watching it, I’m with you. If they have passed on, I have no idea how you feel and you have my deepest sympathies. I’m not looking forward to that in one sense. In another sense I am.

With both hands, I find myself living in this tension on earth. One hand holding on with all I can, dreading the day my Dad passes. With the other hand wide open letting go knowing when He does it will all be healed and whole for him in Heaven. 

Having heroes on earth is a gift in time. Having a heavenly hero in Jesus is a gift for all of eternity. Do you have a hero? Ultimately, may it be Jesus who can take you to a perfect Heavenly Father who loves you and gave his Son for you to be with you forever where there is no time, no pain, no death and no tears.

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