educate equip enable
Have you ever thought of what it means to be a real hero?
I had a small glimpse of what that's like recently.
I was pulling out of our driveway to go shopping, when I noticed a small boy (no more than 2 years old) walking around the end of our cul-de-sac.
I didn't recognise him, but because he looked confident and calm, and because he was outside a house where other children were playing, I assumed he was with them.
One block away, however, I encountered a young man running frantically down the road shouting "Jack", at the top of his voice.
I stopped, wound down my window and asked if "Jack" matched the description of the young boy I had just seen.
It seemed they were one and the same, so I pointed the desperate dad in the right direction.
I felt pleased that I had been able to help, and continued to the shops, which were several streets away, on the main road.
Half an hour later, my shopping done, I was waiting to pull out onto the main road when I looked across the road.
I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Jack, about to launch off the footpath and into the traffic flow.
I jerked on my handbrake, leapt out of the car and grabbed Jack off the road, and out of the path of an oncoming truck.
I managed to get him back to my car - door open, engine still running - before I had time to draw breath and really think. My thoughts went something like this:
"What will people think if they see me trying to get an obviously resistant child in my car?
"How can I make this child safe, without causing him unnecessary trauma? What's the best thing to do?"
I decided to secure my car and carry Jack home, since I knew which house his dad had come out of.
A wriggly, squirming 2 year old, and an unfit 52 year old are not the best possible combination, so half way there I decided to let Jack walk while I held his hand.
No sooner did Jack's feet hit the ground than he jerked free and took off - straight back towards the main road!
Boy, can two year olds run!
And to add insult to injury, he kept looking back and laughing.
When I caught him again, I realized I would have to carry him and, once I got my breath back I started pointing to his house and saying, "I'm taking you home".
Jack's only response was to shake his head vigorously and state: "No home."
"Yes", I replied pointing again. "Jack's house".
Again the shake and, "No Jack's".
At this point my thoughts went something like this:-
"Oh great! Maybe I've abducted someone's child, or I'm trying to return him to a family who has no idea who he is! Good move!"
I tried again, pointing to the man and woman working in the garden.
"We'll go to Mummy and Daddy".
At that moment they looked up and saw me with Jack.
Their astonishment was obvious.
"Jack, what are you doing?" - this from Dad.
"Jack. You're in your bedroom" - this from Mum, who clearly was finding it hard to believe her eyes.
I handed over the toddler, who was whisked inside by his scolding Mum, closely followed by his dad, loudly proclaiming, "You're worse than Houdini".
Then the front door slammed. No word of thanks. No goodbye.
I shrugged and turned around to trudge back to my car.
As I walked, I started to think that really we are all a lot like Jack.
We go through life single-mindedly pursuing what we want.
We ignore, or aren't even aware of, the dangers all around us, and launch ourselves carelessly forward with no thought of the consequences for ourselves or others.
We really need someone bigger, stronger and wiser to step in and rescue us from our own foolishness.
And Jesus has done exactly that, with no strings attached.
He doesn't look for thanks or acknowledgement.
He simply goes about His Father's business.
Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
And He did it gladly, so that we might have all the benefits - abundant life, freedom and hope for tomorrow.
As we take these emblems today, the cup and the bread, we are remembering and honouring the love which cost Him everything, even His life.
Let's not ignore it, but take a moment to express our gratitude to the true Hero.