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Thor, Captain America, Wolverine, Green Lantern, Wurmbrand…can I be a hero?

The human race is fascinated by power. Adam took the antidote from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen. 3) to receive his own kingdom. We have and continue to worship the gods and heroes of old like Zeus, Hermes, Apollos, Dionysius, Baal, and Poseidon. We have seen the the last decade of pop-culture and in particular the West’s primary means of story-telling, movies, being littered by “superhero” flicks that have captivated audiences around the world. The top grossing films in six out of the last ten years have been comic book or superhero-based stories. Why is this so? Why is it that the desire for power grips the very core of our hearts and calls out to our innermost being? Can I be a hero?

According to the much-trusted Wikipedia.org, power is defined as “…a measure of an entity’s ability to control its environment, including the behavior of other entities”. Wiki also defines heroes as ” …characters who, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and the will for self sacrifice—that is, heroism—for some greater good of all humanity”. Okay, we are getting somewhere here…so what we long for is the abiltiy to have control and to experience the power to overcome and see humanity benefit from our life. The Dark Knight, Superman, Thor, the Green Lantern, and Harry Potter all were great, they triumphed in spite of being a self-absorbed rich snob, an unsuccessful reporter allergic to kryptonite, and fear-filled boys (one in a man’s body). All our favorite superheroes somehow find a way to use their greatest strength in the midst of great weakness to impact the entire world.

The greatest war in the world is the battle against hatred and love. Sing it, “All you need is love!” Every human cannot and will not deny their desire to be loved and to love other people, we looooooooong for the power of love. So shouldn’t our superhero win the battle and defeat hatred? According to John in the Bible, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son as the propitiation for our sins.” God demonstrated what true love to us in that while we were still enemies He loved us. The true heroes of this world are those who overcome their desire to hate and release the power of love in the world.

I know a superhero of our day and his name is Richard Wurmbrand. Take a gander at Wurmbrand, he’s one of my heroes who ended up in a Russian prison of torture for 14 years who did what Jesus said to do and loved his enemies instead of hated them. He said that for years they were given one slice of bread per WEEK for food. Some of the men that tortured him and his friends could not resist how much he and the some other prisoners loved them so they ended up wanting to follow Jesus too so they could love like them.

Wurmbrand was a man of great weakness who became a man of great power and love. How did he do it?

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