I love being the hero. I want to be the one that fixes the problem or has the answer. If someone is in great need, I find myself ruminating about how that need can be met. Meanwhile, if someone else meets that need, I feel jealous. I wanted to save the day.
As I allow this jealousy to dissipate, another feeling emerges: relief. I didn’t have to do anything.
Then I feel wonder. Under my relief is a deep appreciation for the heroes around me. Lately I have become more aware of what God is doing in others. I’m amazed at how they welcome people, show up at the hospital, speak up and effect change, leisurely listen, or collect unsold baking to give to those in need.
Jealousy. . . relief . . . wonder.
I remember when being the hero was the only game in town. I couldn’t imagine not rising to the challenge that was before me. Then a gentle awareness came of how much I liked it when I had the answer, when I felt indispensable.
Not long after that, I began to notice occasions when I said the wrong thing, let people down or made things worse. Initially I was horrified, and then I felt humble. The world didn’t come to an end, people didn’t stop loving me, and someone else stepped in to help.
On my hero’s journey, God keeps bringing one awareness after another, and with each one I find a little more freedom. I can now hold my desire to be a hero loosely. When I was able to name the jealousy I felt, it ceased to be so menacing. More and more I find myself enjoying both the relief of knowing that God is looking after us and the wonder of how God is doing it.
And sometimes I even get to be a part of that.
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
–Psalm 121:1, 2 (NRSV)
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Anne Yungwirth enjoys taking photos and playing with them. I have often used her photos in my blog (a favourite is here). But her love mischief doesn’t end there. For a while Anne served soup at the Wednesday Lunch Club. When that no longer fit her schedule, she and her family picked up Starbucks’ donations of baked goods weekly and brought them to her church where they were enjoyed by the customers of New Life’s Free Store and those who attend the Wednesday Lunch Club. Now, after many years of Monday night pick ups, it’s time to pass the baton to someone else. Anne, we salute you!