Friday, June 26, 2009

Where Have All the Real Heroes Gone?

It is a sad reflection of our fallen world! Michael Jackson is dead. Farrah transitioned into the afterlife. Ed McMahon expired (In reverse order, of course), and the world mourns. Part of me is sad as well. The part that grieves that three lives have slipped into eternity without the hope of the life assured by a relationship with Jesus. But what really saddens my heart is to see the glorification of these fallen 'pop-culture' icons. One was immersed in a hedonistic lifestyle marked by clouds of pedophilia. Another's claim to fame was driven by the designation of being a sex-goddess. Her veneration came with a spread in Playboy magazine after the age of 50. The great tragedy of her loss was that she didn't have the chance to finally marry her partner of thirty years. (My how time rushes by and strips us of opportunities!) The last lived in the shadow of a greater entertainer, never moving beyond the level of a faithful sidekick.
In the eyes of the public, these are a sampling of the HEROES of our day. Shallow individuals corrupted by self, money, and the pursuit of stardom. But it is only for Michael Jackson that people find themselves weeping uncontrollably in the streets...or should I say gutters.
Where have the true heroes gone? Yesterday, I saw a young man cleaning out a hotel swimming pool after a storm blew through the evening before. It was amazing. He manipulated that long net with dexterity, but it was obviously a gargantuan effort. He only had one arm. I couldn't help but wonder if he had lost it defending his country. He was the right age, and the way he carried himself screamed military. Sound like a hero? What about Neda. I saw it too. She lay in the streets of Tehran, bleeding through the mouth and nose after being shot by a goon riding a motorcycle. All she was doing was standing up to voice her desire for freedom. Hero? What about the hundreds of Christian Pastors who faithfully preach Jesus in places like Iran, Iraq, and other Islamically bound nations? Yes, they are there, risking their lives every time they speak. Heroes?
It will most likely come out today that Michael Jackson died of an overdose of prescription pain medication. He will have died for nothing; nothing beyond escapism. He was never able to live up to his fame. He never achieved the inner greatness of one the thousands of Sudanese Christian martyrs whose name will never be known. They will weep for Farrah, but who recognizes that lonely wife who has stuck with her husband when he has proven himself an unfaithful dweeb? Who will idolize that teenager who not only says NO to peer pressure, but offers the truth of Jesus to his lost friend instead?
Some day, the true heroes of the world will be lined up for all to see. Words of commendation and praise will usher them into the Kingdom. The only pat on the back they'll ever need will come from the King of Glory. The others? Shrouded in outer darkness, with the flames of the Lake of Fire licking at them for eternity, their voices will be heard by none. The only memories of their existence will reside in their own tortured minds, and in the eternal thoughts of the one who loved them enough to have offered them a way of escape. That way was rejected, and there lies the sadness in this week's deaths.
Jimmy Root Jr

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