Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A Guinness and a Toast to Heros

I have come to the conclusion that heroism is an attribute of real friendship.

Of course, I run the risk of making people feel guilty by saying this. But I am not talking about guys who look like Arnold, or women who shine like medieval renderings of Joan of Arc - halo attached.

True heroism is often something far more subtle. True heroism is faithful, and relentlessly dependable in the face of opposition. Perhaps it is a bit stubborn at times, it holds a position which is unpopular, or potentially has something to loose.

When we find ourselves in desperate times, such as my family (and yes, the church family is included in this as well) has recently experienced, we discover who is willing to stubbornly hold their ground, and faithfully stand beside us during the most difficult times. These people show a heroism which is reminiscent of larger world figures such as Joan of Arc, and they become our personal heros, and heroines.

While I was walking through our most recent trial, two separate men, at separate times spoke words of wisdom which I will not forget. These are not words which one would typically place into the category of "wise sayings," but they spoke life into my heart, and gave guidance during our most difficult times. I related events of treachery, and dashed hopes during a meeting where I was being falsely accused, and supposed friends sat, and said nothing despite knowing better. My wise counsellors heard the story and both said these words, "These people are not your friends."

Oh I knew them for many years, and thought they were friends, but the friendship fell short of defending me against false accusations. Yet I discovered that there were others who were willing to speak up even when it was not in their best interest. These people showed themselves to be friends, and I feel as though I owe my life to them. "There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." This kind of friend is a hero in my book.

True friends are heros. They carry all the deep values of heroism in their hearts.

False friends are only there while it is expedient to be there, and cowardice will drive them away when things become too difficult.

Amazingly, true friends will never think of themselves as heros. They are simply doing what is right, and loving you during your most difficult times. They show the heroism of Jesus Himself, Who died for me while I was yet a sinner.

If I had a Guinness, I'd raise it in the air, and make a toast, "Here's to true friends and heros - iechyd da!"

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