The character of a hero
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Brad Meltzer is a best-selling author of books I will probably never read – until now that is.  Meltzer is known for writing thriller novels like, The Book of Lies and The Fifth Assassin.  With titles like that, I am probably not going to be in line at Barnes and Noble with one in my hand.  This week, however, Brad is introducing a series of children’s books that I think sound intriguing.  Now, if people want to speak about a Brad Meltzer book, I might be able to join the conversation.

Brad Meltzer told USA Today that he began this writing project because he was “tired of seeing my daughter bombarded by the belief that reality TV show stars and dumb athletes are heroes.”  Meltzer has combined his talents with an illustrator named Christopher Eliopoulos and they are producing a series of children’s books about people they believe should be heroes to young people today.  The first two books to be released are titled: I Am Amelia Earhart and I Am Abraham Lincoln.

I am Amelia Earhart by Brad Meltzer (Credit: Brad Meltzer/Christopher Elipoulos)The books relate stories from the historical figures’ young lives so that the young readers can see themselves in the same light.  Brad Meltzer said that his daughter was impressed with the fact that Amelia Earhart built a homemade roller coaster out of a shed, milk crate and skating wheels when she was seven.  The story about her being a pilot in her adult life didn’t carry much weight with a seven-year-old.

When Meltzer wrote his book about Lincoln, he described a time when the young president-to-be ran across some kids torturing a turtle by placing hot coals on its shell.  That story taught his kids that Abraham Lincoln was someone who loved animals and who was brave enough to stand up to others in order to do what was right.

I thought this series of books sounded like a great idea.  We do live in a world that idolizes people for some strange reasons.  Is someone a hero because she can dance or sing?  Is someone a hero if he can make a movie?  I watched the Golden Globes recently and was reminded of the shallow water most movie stars spend their time swimming in.  Kids and adults need to be reminded of what it really takes to be a hero.

When I read the article I couldn’t help but consider the idea of writing a similar series of books for children.   I wouldn’t talk about the people that have been heroes to the world, even though many of them are worthy of consideration.  I would like to write stories about biblical heroes and what their lives might have been like when they were kids.  

Who do you think of as a hero today and why?  I have a list of people from Scripture that I would like to meet one day in heaven.

  • Barnabas.  He left his home and family to help Paul on his missionary journey.  Then, he took John-Mark under his wing and helped him grow up to be a strong man of God.
  • Aaron.  He came alongside Moses and helped him lead millions of people out of Egypt and out of slavery.
  • Timothy.  He was so young when he was handed Paul’s ministry to continue.  
  • Hannah.  What must it have been like to hand her long-awaited son to the priest so he could be raised by another?
  • Esther.  She was so brave to speak up and save her people, even though it meant she might have lost her life doing so.

The Bible is full of heroes, only one of which was perfect.  One of my favorite truths to point out in Scripture is the fact that almost every one of our Bible heroes had a significant flaw or fall in his or her past.  Imperfection is one of the qualities of every human being, except Jesus.

Maybe someday I might write those children’s books.  But if I do, I won’t just speak of the good deeds that were accomplished.  The truth is, every person can be a hero to someone, flaws and all.  The only super-hero that is real, is Jesus.  When last did you thank him for being your hero?

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