A Words of Faith story by Terri Reed
"For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." ~Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)
I think heroism is not an easily defined state by this world’s standards. We look at the media and see athletes touted as heroes. We see activist being named a hero for their work and we see actors called heroes for roles they play. We look to what’s happening in the world and see men and women dying in battles that are meant to free others. We see firemen, policemen and others in professions where they risk their lives for the safety of others. There are schoolteachers who give everything they have so a child can learn. There are doctors who fight to save lives, to find cures to disease and who help to make life more bearable. There are parents struggling to hold onto their families in a world where division is the norm. There are people struggling to overcome addictions and children struggling just to survive.
Are any of these less or more heroic than another? Who is the judge? We each see life differently and individually define our heroes.
As a Christian, I look to the Bible for examples of heroism. Men and women obeying the call of God on their lives against adversity and persecution. I look to Jesus Christ as the ultimate hero. The One who I could only hope to emulate.
As a writer, I try to make my characters heroic. Sometimes that means big actions that require bravery and sacrifice. Sometimes small actions that can only be seen by the reader such as acting in spite of misgivings, overcoming fear to love or to help, moral integrity, and facing one’s flaws to become a better person. If our characters don’t grow and change, becoming more heroic as the story unfolds, the integrity of the story is comprised and becomes insipid.
From his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell defined a hero as someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.
On another occasion, Campbell defined two different types of heroic deeds. One, he said, is the physical deed, in which the hero performs a courageous act and saves a life. The other kind is the spiritual deed, in which the hero learns to experience the supernormal range of human life and then comes back with a message (a lesson, a gift, an idea) to share.
I like this because it broadens the scope of heroism and suggests that each and every one of us can be a hero in our everyday lives. Through faith nothing is impossible. I pray that we all would look for ways to be heroes in these turbulent times.
Terri Reed’s romance and romantic suspense novels have appeared on Publisher’s Weekly Top 25, Nielsen’s BookScan Top 100 and featured in USA Today, Christian Fiction Magazine and Romantic Times Magazine, finaled in RWA’s RITA contest, National Reader’s Choice Award contest, ACFW’s Carol Awards contest.