Standing your ground, cape or not

Sunday, October 11, 2009

We need heroes. Not the superpowered crusaders don tights and a cape to defend the defenseless and come to the rescue of the down and out all in the name of "truth, justice and the American way."

These comic book and Saturday morning icons inspire and in many ways reflect the heart of the American story, but heroes are not limited to the realms imagination. Heroes of the real world, heroes who desire to honor God with their lives, take stands that bring exposure, risk and vulnerability.

Shammah was one of David's mighty men fighting alongside the king. Little is known of Shammah's story. His life is not a chronicle of many achievements but the story of one day in a field. One day the Philistine army, the fierce, violent and ruthless enemy of the king, gathered in a place called Lehi. Lehi means "jawbone," perhaps a description of the landscape made up of a range of mountains in the shape of a jawbone with a field of lentils in the middle.

The sight of this mighty army amid the surrounding mountains caused great fear in the army of Israel, initiating cowardly abandonment. Yet in this field surrounded by knee-high white flowered lentils Shammah took his stand alone.

Heroic acts emerge when opportunities for our character to overshadow our crisis meet. Heroes take their stand even if it means standing alone. Shammah did not form a focus group or consult with various counselors; he took a stand before the surrounding army with nowhere else to go, saying "I will go no further."

God is forming the character and strength within you for days like these, days of standing and going no further, no matter the cost. Those times will not be a matter of when but how often. How often must you draw and defend the line of your marriage? How often must you stand to not compromise your integrity? How often must you defend and aid those who have no hope?

Being a hero is not just kid stuff. Being a hero is more than a cape and a mask. Being a hero is recognizing the surrounding dangers and instead of fleeing. Being a hero is risking vulnerability in environments that could crush you. Being a hero is being available to allow God to work the impossible through you.

@body_no_indent italics:Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at

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