I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Heroes in All Shapes and Sizes

By Teri Dawn Smith

I’ve had cause to think a lot about heroes lately. That’s not surprising for a fiction writer, but it’s not my fictional heroes I’ve been contemplating, but real life heroes.

Some of them look like heroes—like the firemen who came and picked my father up off the floor when he fell recently. I told them they were heroes, and one of the firemen pointed to some pictures on the wall and said, “Looks like you’ve got some heroes of your own here.” The pictures were of my grandfather, my father, and my oldest brother in their navy uniforms.

Yes, they were all brave men, and they looked like it, dressed in their gear.

But not all heroes wear a uniform. My brother Tim recently sacrificed a day with his family to spend the day with us when my mother needed some extra help. He certainly seemed heroic that day.

Sometimes a one-time courageous act makes a person a hero, but other times it’s the day after day small sacrifices such as the ones a person makes, year after year, that make me want to tag a person as a hero. My mother did this both in our home and in her first grade classroom. She’s a modern day heroine, as far as I’m concerned.

And heroes come in all shapes and sizes. 

We have a small Maltese puppy named Titus who barks when my elderly mother is in need. The first time he did this, I’m ashamed to admit, I scolded and him and told him to hush. But now I’ve learned to trust my tiny hero when he comes for me time after time when my mother is in need—once recently in the middle of the night when she fell.

So heroes can come with uniforms or dressed in plain clothes. They can even come covered with fur. But here’s the thing about heroes: They don’t give up, they help the helpless, they do it without complaining or boasting, and in the end they make us marvel.

What about a Hero who rescues someone who was nasty to him? Wouldn’t this amaze us even more? Or one who rescued his enemies? Jesus did this, and He is without a doubt the greatest hero of all times

How about you? Have you found a real life hero lately among your friends or relatives?


  1. Such a simple, yet profound, post, Teri.
    I think sometimes I can look right past the heroes (and heroines) in my life. You're so right: not all heroes wear a uniform.

  2. So well-done, Teri. Thanks. Sometimes heroes come in disguises. I loved it when recently my scraped and squabbling grandchildren were touched by the hardships of less-blessed children across the seas and instantly forgot their pettiness and rose to greatness.

  3. Teri, loved your post. The idea of looking for heroes in my every day challenges me to open my eyes to people in the world around me.

    My biggest hero is my husband. He lives out his days in integrity. He's my cheerleader on this writing journey. My kids' teachers are also heroic in the way they manage their classrooms and love on their students. Especially when they are being testy. :)

  4. Great post, Teri!

    My son, Daniel, became the man in the family after my husband's death. Daniel worked long hours and attended college. (Biology majors have long labs.) But he gave his weekends to his younger brothers who were 10, 8, and 1. He even gave up his church to worship with his family, even though there weren't people his age at our church. Now that I'm remarried (and my new husband, Steve, is definitely a hero) and Daniel is released from responsibility for his brothers, I pray that he will soar and fulfill all God's plans for his life.

  5. You are so right, Teri. Heroes come in all sizes and shapes. I have a friend who has taken care of her son for 65 years. His life went from normal at 9 months to never getting past age 3 when he had a bad reaction to a diphtheria shot. He's now 66.

  6. True, Beth, it's easy to miss the heroes in our life!

  7. Glad you see glimpses of heroism in your grandchildren already, Delores!

  8. Jeanne, I'm so thankful you see a hero in your husband! So often our husbands are like that, but it's far too easy to take them for granted.

  9. Wow, Roxanne, your son is a hero indeed!

  10. Pat, that's the kind of hero I'm talking about!

  11. Ohhh cute dog. :)

    Loved your post, Teri.

    And I love heroes. :) Most recently, my sister Amy was a hero in my life. Actually both her and her husband. They rock!

  12. Yes, Melissa, he's a cutie! And I'm glad you see the heroes in your life.

  13. Teri, a lovely post that is a terrific reminder to recognize the uncommon heroes in our lives.

    Christopher Reeve said, “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”

    I think of my sister who teaches middle school during the day and spends her evenings caring for my niece who has special needs. Some days are more challenging than others. I admire her very much.

    And my mom celebrated her 5th year of sobriety...she's a hero by grace in my opinion.

  14. Teri, beautiful post! And reading through the comments, I find some pretty amazing heroes as well!

    Teri, YOU are one of my heroes. Watching you walk the past few years has been inspiring and encouraging to me. With my turbulent health, it is easy for me to feel sorry for myself, but watching you deal with your issues with wit and optimism has given me perspective. If you can do it, then I can too!

    My other hero is my husband. Like Jeanne's hubby, mine lives his life with such integrity. He is the same man at church/work as he is at home. And he is a faithful provider, an amazing father, and a tender and patient husband. Since our accident, he has been forced to pick up much of the slack, and he does so without complaint or even a sour attitude. He just does what needs to be done, reminding me constantly how much he loves me and how glad he is that I'm just here.

    Thank you for the beautiful reminder that heroes aren't just for the big screen or for novels.

  15. Wow, Heidi, your husband does indeed sound like a hero!

  16. I like how you define hero.