Back in my days of C.C.D., now known as religious education or Catholic Faith Formation, I had to create a sign with a picture of my hero. It was an was no brainer assignment. My hero was Mingo, the Native American sidekick to Fess Parker's T.V. Daniel Boone. My younger brother, in his authentic Daniel Boone artificial coonskin cap, and I, with my mocassins, would hang on every word, every motion Ed Ames and Fess Parker made. After watching the show, we would replay the whole episode in our backyard. I tried my best to have stealth feet, respect the earth and be peaceful. My brother, even though he was the star, would do his best to follow in my footsteps. All the while we were saving the damsels, protecting the homesteaders and instilling a goodness and fairness in all we came across. Back then despite getting only 4 channels there was always something good to watch on T.V.
When I saw this weeks writing prompt I wondered, "Who is my hero?" He is my husband, who saves me when my nerves are frayed. My children, for all their wisdom and prespective. My friends, and for the many miles we have walked/talked and the many cups of coffee we have shared. What about Mr. S.? Every week he saves the leftside of our pew for me and the girls. My children's teachers are my heroes. They get ideas and concepts to go where I can't seem to penetrate. In the morning, when I am driving the girls to school, my hero is the person caught in the traffic outside our house, who lets me out of my driveway.
Back in my old days of C.C.D. my teacher was a bit taken aback by my choice. I hadn't produced the obvious correct answer. (And I knew it the moment I arrived at church and saw all the signs with Jesus' face.) She asked why I picked Mingo, a fictious character from a T.V. show for a hero. I remember in my own simple terms explaining how loyal, trustworthy, caring, and compassionate Mingo was. And I wanted to be just like him. She smiled and something about him being Christ-like. I replied,"But he doesn't believe in God. He worships the earth and stars." Of course, T.V. back in those days didn't expound on such topics. But everyone knew that Native Americans worshipped the gods of the earth and sky.
Now I understand. For our family, Christ is the center of goodness. He is the shining example for us. But Christ-like goodness, that pervades all my heroes, doesn't have to come directly from Christ. Long ago He looked like Mingo. A man that loved and cared for his mother earth. Today, He is a writing friend, family, my children, a helpful stranger, a homeless person. The truth is, the face of God is everywhere. Creating heroes in us all.