For as long as I can remember, I’ve been looking for a hero. As a child, that meant beings who appeared ordinary enough, but could fly, see through walls, bend steel in their bare hands, etc. In adulthood, my hero quest centered on those who had character traits I admired, or had achieved a certain level of success.
I think all of us are born with an inner need to connect with something or someone bigger than ourselves. We find a person who can do one thing really well – like sing, act, write, run a company, throw or hit a ball – and we think “Maybe that person is better than the rest of us in other ways as well.” We desperately want that to be the case, so we convince ourselves it is, creating near idols in the process.
In time, however, the truth inevitably comes out… the one I’ve made my hero is revealed for what he really is. Sadly, this often happens via a moral failing or other serious situation, in a very public forum, since these people are typically famous. The cynics cry out condemnations and judgments. The reasonable, and sometimes the de-throned heroes themselves, simply say “He (or she) was merely human after all.”
Those who believe the Bible know that only one not-human person ever walked the Earth. (Yet He was somehow fully human at the same time.) He lived a life completely consistent with His values: loving God and His neighbors, all the way to a horrible and unfair death. A true hero.
When humans who I and others have placed on pedestals fall from those positions, I’m not shocked, angry, or disappointed. I don’t declare how unintelligent they were, or think that I would have done better. It simply confirms that I finally found the only hero worth following… a divine one at that.