I met one of my heroes recently. The church I was visiting had a guest speaker I was eager to hear and meet. He has been one of my favorite commentators on Christianity and culture for many years and I have quoted him on numerous occasions. I once wrote him to thank him for being such an important spokesperson for living out the truth in the real world. Here is a man for whom there is no separation of sacred and secular; instead, God has shown him how to think in such a way as to sanctify everything and pass on that ability to others. So it was with great admiration that I went up afterwards to meet him and thank him personally for what his work had meant to me.
I was so focused on this that it caught me off guard when, upon hearing my name, he welcomed me as celebrity, and introduced me to everyone around him as his hero. Apparently my music had had a significant influence on his early years, and that letter I sent so many years ago has been a treasured encouragement ever since. Hearing this made me think of a letter I once received from the late Herb Caen, revered columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, admiring my book that I had sent him because it had a piece about him in it. That was a letter from one of my heroes saying, “Nice job.” I still have that letter in a frame.
So there we were, mutual heroes meeting for the first time.
It makes me wonder now if all our encounters couldn’t be like this, for isn’t there a way that we are all heroes to someone? So when I meet you, I meet a hero. Why are we heroes? It’s not because of us anyway; it’s because of what God has done for us and through us. We have merely received from Him what we have passed on to someone else, but in that exchange, we became important as a conduit of grace, truth and love — turning grace outward to others. So in reality, this wasn’t a mutual appreciation society meeting as much as it was a worship moment — a time to recognize God in each other.
Our guest on BlogTalkRadio this week was our good friend, Robbie Goldman from Denver. Robbie is founder and director of Dry Bones Denver, a unique ministry to street kids in that city, most of whom do not have homes. After 15 years of ministry loving kids on the street, Robbie will tell you the most important thing they can do for these kids is not to feed them, clothe them and offer them shelter, all of which they do, and all of which are important, but the most important thing, he says, is to value them — to give them worth. He went as far as to say that is how they live out the gospel — indeed, that is the gospel: to make sure each one of these kids knows how important they are to someone — to a staff member or volunteer with Dry Bones, and ultimately, as they will find out, to God.
So you could call the kids on the streets in Denver, “Robbie’s Heroes,” and you’d be right. Robbie and his team have merely recognized God in these kids and are responding accordingly. Who will be your heroes today?