Saturday, January 8, 2011

Be the Hero

"But that's just the thing, Mom," passion rolls down one cheek, his lip quivers, "I'm not sure who my heroes are."  This being one of those conversations that churns a slow churn in my mind for the next few months.  Who were my heroes at his age?  My aunts and uncles on the Whitworth side.  My grandparents.  My piano teacher.  I had outgrown Wonder Woman and Cinderella.  I remember looking for the real thing, too.

I remember thinking that maybe I wasn't created just to be happy or have stuff.  That maybe I could actually be of some use to the world.  The adults in my life kept telling me that I was "created for a purpose."  And so, I set out on a quest to discover how I might make a dent for justice in the world's craziness.

But the spirit is a tender thing, isn't it?  And dreams get boxed, framed in the "truth of reality."  And what can make the heart beat fast for right, for justice, one moment, can be numbed by the "get real" and you've-got-your-head-in-the-clouds distractions all round. 

And so, after much thinking and prayer, I share the conversation from weeks before with the whole family.  I tell them, "I think you need to trust that God will put heroes in your life along the way but that you're supposed to focus on being the hero."  The dialogue turns lively as I attempt to stoke the spirit, pour fuel on dreams, praying that purpose and passion keep complacency from boxing what can be.

Hope rises as we speak courage into one another, affirming, "You are my hero!" and, "Well, let me tell you why you're my hero, too!"  Reminders of who we are in Christ, that nothing is impossible with God, restores vision.  Replenishes a sense of wonder.

Yet, even with my passion for all things words, splashed generously across pages in books, in beloved letters received joyously in mailbox, spoken over one's mind to set deep in the soul, I am exasperated by words.  Because without actually going out onto the field to face into the struggle, locker room pep talks fall flat.  I'm tired of the hype.  I want to change.  Really change.  Not just talk about dreams placed in the heart, but actually live them.  Powerfully.  Purposely.

My friend, Kenna, always challenged my verbalizing of lofty goals with, "How are you going to measure that?"  Indeed.  And isn't this the way to make the moments count all the way into eternity? 

"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."  ~Psalm 90:12

I start to break it down, to make it measurable, realizing -- this painstakingly slow realization -- that taking one measurable step after another leads one to heroically live beyond oneself, to be in that place where a dream becomes humanly impossible, but completely possible through His Spirit.

To live in that place where faith produces courage to step into the God-gap, that place where a full surrender is, like my sweet friend, Jeri, told me the other day, that moment where the launch into the atmosphere takes our breath away.

Oh!  How I long to live with complete abandon!  To be the kind of mama who demonstrates by example -- instead of lengthy monologues -- what it means to be the hero!  I long to change this year, to grow in areas where I've previously stayed grounded because it was safer, calmer, more manageable.  I want to take back the territories I gave to fear.   

"Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."  ~Matthew 19:26

In a series of sprints with a marathon or two thrown in along the way, (metaphorically speaking, of course), I'm learning to dream far bigger than what I can "realistically" manage, taking one measurable step at a time, longing to leave a wake of integrity and faith.  Perhaps a wake in which one following behind might find courage?

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."  ~Philippians 3:14 

*Photos of oldest son, Eli, whose courage, kindness, patience, sense of humor, vision, faith, sense of justice and inner strength makes him one of my greatest heroes.  Not just me, but to siblings with trembling passion, too!  First photo: at the Heidelberg Castle in Heidelberg, Germany; Second photo: roasting marshmallows in G'ma Kathy's backyard in Spokane; Third photo: running with the iron statues in Riverfront Park in Spokane, Washington.

1 comment:

  1. Sharon: You are one of my heroines! I'm so inspired by your family life. Our family life has had a slight stumble of late; I really find the busyness of American life like an enemy. Anyway, thank you (and Eli) for inspiring me. I love you!