My Unsung Hero

My dad, Jim, sitting on his father Laban's lap, 1947
What does the word hero mean to you?

I don't think it should be given to someone who displays a talent in an athletic sport. 

I don't think a hero is a movie or pop star with flashy clothes and the ability to draw a crowd. 

Our American culture would disagree vehemently. We are told to scramble to get to the top of the mountain no matter what it might cost. The problem is, once we get "there" (wherever we thought "there" was), we realize that the top was only a plateau and that the next summit is even farther out of reach than we thought before. There will always be someone more talented, more intelligent, more cultured, more traveled, more connected, more spiritual, more insightful, more creative, more patient, more devoted. 

A hero is not concerned with how he or she measures up in comparison to others. A hero does not know that he or she is one at all. I believe that some of the greatest heroes are those whose lives are never noticed on earth. 
Laban and Marcella with Jack and Jim, Belgian Congo, 1949

A hero's life is marked by...

Faithfulness when others have long since given up in discouragement.

A hero's life is marked by...

Vision, inspired by faith, of what could or should be when others are blind and scoff.

A hero's life is marked by...

Joy that swallows up and closes the door on bitterness from life's difficult circumstances when others find comfort in resentment and hardness of heart.
Dad and Mom with us kids, 1978, the year we left for  DRCongo.

A hero's life is marked by...

Selfless service driven by the absolute belief that the One who sees all will be the great Rewarder.

A hero's life is marked by...

Tenderness with the youngest heart and courage to stand against evil, no matter how threatening.

A hero's life is marked by...

Knowledge that the best is yet to come and sharing that glorious hope with everyone.

I know what characteristics a hero has because I have been raised by a true, unsung hero, my father - Jim Smith. I am blessed this Father's Day to call him Dad. I cannot wait to see the reward he will receive one day from His heavenly Father, who has become my heavenly Father through my dad's example to me.

Happy Father's Day, Dad! You are my hero!


Dad with all of his children and eight of his 15 grandchildren, 2007.

Children’s children are a crown to the aged, 
   and parents are the pride of their children. Proverbs 17:6