With Halloween being just this week, I have come to face a darkening reality: too many kids want to be superheroes, and not enough of them know what being a true hero actually means. Too many people have never experienced a superhuman act of rescue. If the world was like the Marvel movies, good would always prevail, evil would always be defeated, and everyone would have a realization of true valor.
Unfortunately, we don’t live in Movie World. We live in our world, and our world sucks. It’s broken, dirty, and no one leaves unscathed.
When I was a kid, ballet was my passion. I was a ballerina at every costume and dress up party I could be at. Pink tutus and black leotards—I wanted nothing more than to be the most graceful, beautiful dancer on stage. Yet I remember still to this day the practice I missed because I was sick—so I didn’t get a solo. I was crushed, but I wouldn’t cry in front of the other girls. For that recital, I worked so hard to prove that I could still do a solo, even though I had missed the opportunity. I had my hopes up even to the evening of our recital. But the offer never came. So I danced as one of the troupe; just another ballerina in a sea of faces.
Life is like that: full of hopes and dreams that we hold dear until we can no longer. Those hopes and dreams quickly become scarring disappointments, forever etched on the outskirts of our brains. The ones were we feel just one of the crowd—nothing special—utterly broken. We may not always remember, but we never forget. These experiences tend to shape who we are—or make us shells of who we once were. The brokenness, emptiness, and shallow disappointments shake us to the core and leave us wondering. People disappoint people. I’ve seen it too many times to say otherwise.
But, we have this hope: God extends to us love freely given when He sent His only Son to die for us on that cold, cruel cross. I promise you, you were not just another face in the crowd 2000 years ago. You were on His mind—not in contempt or hatred. But Jesus was thinking of you in love. He could see your face, happy and smiling. He could feel the warm touch of your skin as you held His hand for the first time. He could hear your sweet laughter in the wind. He could hear your song and He choked up with tears because of its beauty. He had never heard such talent. On that cross, the pain was almost too much to bear—but the thought of being able to spend eternity with you made the thorns, nails, and lashes all so worth it. No, my dear—to Him, you are not just another passerby. You are His love.
Grace is defined as unmerited favor, free and undeserving. So often we struggle with being our own superheroes that we forget that God sent His Son to be our Superhero. We need not toil and tarry any longer, for by His grace, we are saved. It is so easy to get caught up in the pain of today, the haunting of the past, and the fear of the future that we forget who holds it all.
Before the world was created, God was there. Before you were born, God knew you.
Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
God wants to know you. He has a burning desire to be with who you are, right now. No need to change, or to be better. He loves you where you are at. “But He’s God—doesn’t He know me already?” It’s true—He does. He is God; He does know everything. But He desires a relationship with you. He wants you to know Him on a deep and intimate level.
Matthew 25:34-36, 40-46 (NIV)
The Sheep and the Goats
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
So often, we give into peer pressure, forgetting the actual cost of living. We can no longer sit idly by and let people’s eternity’s slip through our fingertips. We have to love like Jesus loves; forgive like He forgives. It takes time, sacrifice, and a whole lot of prayer, but we must never forget what the Lord has done for us. I am not holy preaching high and mighty on a hill—I am standing right beside you, struggling with these very things. It is hard to love some people—but God loves me. And you. And them. He is no respecter of persons—all are His children. We need to give love as love has been freely given to us. We need to show grace as God has given us grace upon grace. We need to be the hands and feet of Jesus. For He was, He is, and He is yet to come.
So, step out. Be somebody’s hero. The Lord has the victory—we are only fighting from it. Love them. Encourage them. Be with them. We do not struggle in vain. The Lord God Almighty is good—and gives grace upon grace. The victory has been claimed by God, for God. The only thing He asks of us is to be obedient, to live in love, and to worship Him. Very simple—yet most rewarding.
Stay strong, love.
Bio: Hannah is an aspiring writer and blogger. She has written many short stories and completed three full-length novels since the time she was 10 years old. She loves to read, spend time with friends, bake, decorate, ride, run and watch Netflix (when she isn’t working or writing.) She has two ornery brothers who love to pick on her and eat her food. You can also find her at http://www.classycassidy.com/blog.