Since my children study history chronologically, the eldest knew who Nelson Mandela was, but the younger ones didn’t.
So I pulled out one of the volumes of our history curriculum: Story of the World: Early Modern Times (which they’ll be studying next year), and read the section about this man, about apartheid, and what that means.
Mandela, like many other people we call heroes, was not a perfect man. He was most likely a philanderer, and his children don’t paint a particularly flattering picture of him – someone more interested in politics than in raising his kids.
Personally, I believe that God sometimes uses these imperfect, powerful men to accomplish things as He sees fit.
Proverbs 21:1: A king’s heart is like streams of water in Jehovah’s hand. He directs it wherever He pleases.
Another example would be Martin Luther King. Without him and other civil rights activists, the last ladies’ night party I enjoyed with some of my friends might not look like this:
I’ve been thinking a lot about heroes this week.
In our culture, we talk a lot about people who famously accomplish big things. But there are thousands (millions?) of people who are heroic, that nobody knows about.
I picked up a book off my bookshelves this week to read. It’s called Facing The Lion. It’s about a young girl who faced the Nazis in a showdown that lasted several years. And she came off triumphant.
The most important detail about Simone Liebster is that she wasn’t Jewish. She wasn’t being persecuted because of her cultural heritage, something she could not control. She was taken from her parents, persecuted, beaten, psychologically tortured because she was Bibelforsher. (Today, in English, we refer to this group as Jehovah’s Witnesses.)
At any time, she could have signed a paper denouncing her religion, and experienced freedom. A smart, artistic, diligent student, her “crime” was her refusal to give worshipful adoration to a man (adoration she believed belonged only to her Savior, Christ). A man that everyone around her thought was a hero: Hitler.
What do you think? What makes someone a hero to you?