Where are the Heroes?

“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends                                                                                                                                              John 15:11-13 (The Message)

The heroes are in plain sight, we just overlook them. Last evening, I was privileged to be part of a meeting of foster and adoptive fathers. I am on the board of a foster care agency, and I participated in a group of men who shared their experiences of being dads to kids whom they adopted and/or fostered. These men shared stories about having adopted special needs kids and they talked about some of the things they do to provide care for those kids.

They do not see themselves as heroic by any means. They see themselves as simply having a calling to care for and love kids whom others have abused or abandoned. They and their wives give of themselves to provide care for kids who had been traumatized by abuse or neglect. One dad shared a story about spending up to an hour every night, for several years, gently tapping the forehead of a little girl who could otherwise not fall asleep unless he provided this soothing touch.

Other men shared about their fears and concerns for their kids who had intellectual deficits, or who were lacking social abilities or awareness. They wondered how their kids would do in a world that was not understanding or accepting of their kids. They shared the highs and lows of being a foster or adoptive dad and the price that they paid for this.

Let me be clear- they were not complaining or seeking pity. Far from it. They had a bit of a hard time when I called them heroes in my eyes. They sought neither credit nor pity. They simply came together to support one another and to share their experiences.

Heroes do that sort of thing. They don’t advertise their virtue. So, I will call them heroes even if they will not do that themselves (and they won’t).

So, if you sometimes feel that people are not caring or sacrificing themselves for the good of others, you might be overlooking someone right next door.

Prayer: Thank you Father for giving us the command and the opportunity to love and care for others, Amen

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