Friday, October 26, 2007

What's A Hero?

Valerie (God, I love that name!) Barrett paid me a compliment in an email that I really shouldn't repeat, but will anyway -- because it gives me a starting point for a blog!

Val emailed to say she has harp CDs too and loves them. She says I'll love mine and they should work fine at work without putting me to sleep. And they'll keep me relaxed and peaceful during all future double-duty weeks at work (

To that I responded, "I actually kinda enjoy the frantic pace this time of year -- it gives me a chance to feel like a freakin' hero!"

To which she replied, "Baby you ARE a hero!"


Now, Val is a school chum of mine. We go WAY back to the 60's. She and I were gonna be actors (known as actresses back then, before the world became gender neutral) when we grew up.

To think that a dear friend considers me a hero is high praise...

I wanted to react, "Oh, C'MON!" but then remembered that I am supposed to accept compliments and say "Thank you."

Deflecting a compliment is rude to the one who offered it and also reflects that the one complimented doesn't hold herself (or himself) in equal regard on the point on which said compliment was made.

I suppose that's my problem.

I think firefighters, soldiers, teachers, and most moms are heroes. I think all those who consider others before considering themselves on a routine basis are heroes: pastors, volunteers, caregivers... the list goes on and on!

Truth time here: I don't routinely consider the needs of others before considering my own. Whenever my conscience (which is johnny-on-the-spot in many instances, for which I thank God) would crucify me if I didn't do something I "should" do, I do it, no questions asked.

Some of the things I've done for others truly have been a sacrifice (of a career, of time, of money, even of close friendships -- when I told a truth that had to be told) but my conscience wouldn't have allowed me to get away unscarred without doing them, so where's the "hero" in that? (God's Spirit is the hero in that! Just answered my own question. The Holy Spirit prompts my "conscience" to insist on the proper course of action!)

DeForest Kelley's biographer asked me one time why I sacrificed my career at Warner Bros. (at heavy expense to me -- it took until just this year to recover financially) to help the Kelleys when they asked me.

My answer? "It never even occurred to me not to help them when they asked. They were my chief encouragers and mentors for over thirty years." I can't, to this day, even imagine telling them, "No." I'd do it again!

Yes, I probably "should" use my brain as well as I use my heart at times! But the analytical side of my brain is semi-retired or semi-retarded or something. And I'm glad. It frees my heart to do what it knows is right, no matter what the consequences feel like "analytically" after the fact.

This year I invested significant time helping Aunt Tod after she moved up to Washington. There were times I was exhausted and really didn't "want" to help. But that's when Love (Christ in me) does His mightiest work! It's easy to help when you WANT to. It's when you're dragging that Love keeps you going like the Eveready bunny!

Me, a hero? Naw. I'm just a vehicle. The Hero is sitting at the right hand of the Father writing names into His Book of Life. According to His holy word, my name is in it because I'm so eager to acknowledge him as my Lord and Savior and to follow His urgings (my "holy" conscience).

What better way to say "Thank you!" than to reflect His love into the world as best I can?

That's my plan!

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