On Fridays a bunch of brave writers gather here to all spend 5 collective minutes writing on a single prompt. It’s a great way to catch your breath at the end of a long week. This blessed, beautiful place where we open our hearts and let words and tears and the inner workings of our lives bleed and flow and dance across the virtual pages. Yes, this community opens wide and invites you in to share. Come and visit and read. You will be blessed.
This week: Hero
Climbing towers. Slaying dragons. Rushing headfirst into the thorny thicket. Yes. I used to compose a very specific idea of hero in my head – and it used to involve a chiseled Disney archetype with shiny armor and a sword.
Later, when I curled into my safe spot at my father’s desk; reading Greek mythology, Shakespeare; and other literary adventures far beyond my years, my estimation of a hero darkened, and I doodled strange, dark, multi-limbed creatures wielding swords, lances, and jagged shards – these new heroes always towering violently protective over the small shadow of myself that I included.
Still later, when real fairy tale crashed headfirst into real life, and my heart and other pieces were shattered and broken into bits, I disavowed the notion that there were heroes are all. I saw no honor. No sacrifice No courage. No excellence .No heroes.
These days, I don’t have to look far to see heroes. Not far at all.
Heroes love fiercely into the chaotic swirl of parenting that breaks a mother’s heart and can tear a family to pieces. Heroes stand and open their arms to let their children leave and remain standing there with arms open to welcome them back when prayer and faith restore what has been broken.
Heroes watch tireless through the dark of the night when fevers flare, stomachs roil, and congestion barks its ugly snarl. Heroes sit vigilant with cool hands and cloths that sooth; always knowing what to turn to for each ailment. Always patient and watchful to guide the sick and the restless back to health.
Heroes go to battle for the best that can be offered – even when the best is sometimes couched in a lesson that stings and burns. Heroes look long into the future and do not focus on only immediate happiness, but the foundation that is being laid and the infrastructure that will support a well-rounded, well-learned individual who will contribute much to their world. Heroes know that the long view is generally best.
Heroes stand firm in the face of immaturity and indifference, as children stretch; thrust; and fight to find their footing in the blind dark of desperation and a need for love. Heroes continue to stand and make themselves a beacon in the darkness; shining out into the bleak; the raging storm; and maelstrom; lighting the way to the home that will always be there.
All around me, in real life friends and ones I only know online, I see wonderful, Godly parents living their lives; setting an example; leading their children; and working to make a difference. The way is often hard. It is heartbreaking. It is thankless. But they continue on. They endure. This is for them. These are my heroes.
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