Heroes

Who is your hero? What qualities make them a hero?

I wondered about that term – we wield it so casually in our world. The entertainment industry is full of blockbuster movies full of superheroes, jedis and other misfits who turn into heroes who save the world every long weekend in the summer. Celebrities are often coined a hero because…well sometimes I’m not sure why. This is where it gets confusing for me so I looked the word up. 

According to my google dictionary – a hero is “a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.” 

That sounds about right. The health care professionals fighting this pandemic definitely fall under that category as do all the grocery store workers, food suppliers and other front line workers that I haven’t mentioned. These are ordinary people who do their jobs during extreme circumstances. Many of whom, I’m guessing, go to work scared but they go anyway. That’s courage lived out. Those are noble qualities. They are going above and beyond what they signed up for. Heroes – every last one of them. Thank you. Those words seem inadequate. My family has many front line workers and I know how hard you’re working so thank you.

As an author I’ve been amazed at the amount of people it takes to get a book published. To use a cliche – it really does take a village. I think it’s the same with heroes. And I’m not saying this to take away from them. Not at all. But there’s a group of people who stand behind so many heroes who go unseen. It reminds me of the story of Moses, who as long as he held his hands up in the air, Joshua and the Israelite army were on the winning side of the battle. As soon as he dropped his hands, the tide turned. When Moses’ arms grew tired, Aaron and Hur brought a stone for him to sit on, while they stood beside him and held up his arms, holding them steady until the sun went down. 13 In this way Joshua totally defeated the Amalekites. Exodus 17:12,13 GNT

Holding up many of our heroes are Aarons and Hurs. They are the ones who stay behind and keep the hearth warm, providing refuge for a returning hero. I understand this a little – it’s not the same as letting your spouse go to a life-threatening situation but I know what it’s like being left behind as you stand aside so your loved can go save/serve others. It’s a bit like wearing an invisibility cloak. 

In the moment of crisis, the joy of victory, or crush of defeat, we forget the Aarons and Hurs. That doesn’t mean their sacrifices were any less significant. They manage their households, raise their kids, pursue their own work, while their spouse/loved one is away for days, weeks, or months at a time. It probably wasn’t what they signed up for when they signed the marriage license. Or paid for the tuition.

These loved ones know all too well the steep cost of letting their husbands, wives, sons or daughters go because they’re the ones who welcome the heroes home after the fanfare. They witness the pain, fear, grief and many other emotions as the heroes shed their capes and masks. It affects their marriages, their families, their lives. 

They keep their families and themselves together as the world falls apart. Yet often, the ones left at home are unseen, invisible – or at least their struggles are. 

But the Israelites would not have won the battle without Aaron and Hur. They wouldn’t have won without Moses and Joshua and every foot soldier out on the field fighting either. It takes a team – every front line worker as well as every person standing behind them holding their arms up. 

Today whether you are a spouse, mother, father or child, who courageously lets your person go to the front lines fighting this evil virus or you send your loved one out daily to protect and lead even when there isn’t a pandemic – as a military family, a ministry family – so they can go and help others – I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you. You are seen and appreciated. Stay strong as you hold up your hero’s arms.   

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