MAYBE like me, you've thought of heroes as people who, being outnumbered by opposing forces, are willing to go forward in the face of great danger and risk. This is certainly the image of heroism that we often see in films. Such images don't tell us much about real heroes, but they do often have an influence upon the way we think heroes act. Then we may not even recognize the deeper spiritual strength and goodness that underlie true heroism. The fact of the matter is, heroism is something that all of us need in our daily lives. Ordinary people like moms and dads are often heroic. I re-member a time when I limped home after a pretty serious acci-dent on my bicycle. I can now appreciate, having been a parent myself, the heroic way my mom took over and cared for me. What made me think about heroes was studying the Bible. I thought about the handful of people who stayed close to Christ Jesus while he was arrested and later crucified. They were heroes. Their heroism, however, didn't grow out of physical toughness. It developed from their deep love for the Master and for the spiritual revelation of God that he had brought to their lives. What they did was quiet, probably unknown to most of the people who witnessed those tragic events. None of these people received public awards, battle ribbons, or national praise. In fact, they were probably stigmatized by their simple but heroic acts. Each, however, played an essential part in the events that led to the resurrection of the Master. Their acts were actually an outgrowth of love, spiritual love. This is the real key to what makes a hero: a progressive, strong, deeply rooted, spiritual love . To grapple with and to prove the truth that man is the spiritual image and likeness of God is a heroic act. This truth so totally contradicts material views of man that it means one must part from material perceptions and catch the vision of man as the reflection of God, who is divine Truth and Love. True heroism is born deep in the hearts of people who yearn to know divine Truth. Heroism isn't something that comes from mere physical force or domination. This is one of the first and most important things we realize as we begin to understand what a hero really is. Genuine heroism comes from spirituality, from being drawn ever more irresistibly to God and to His spiritual idea, man, wholly governed by divine law. To understand this true selfhood is to love others with a love that comes from God and that endures through human conflict and prevails. Writing in her Message to The Mother Church for 1901, Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science and founded the Church of Christ, Scientist, said: "All that is true is a sort of necessity, a portion of the primal reality of things. Truth comes from a deep sincerity that must always characterize heroic hearts; it is the better side of man's nature developing itself. "As Christian Scientists you seek to define God to your own consciousness by feeling and applying the nature and practical possibilities of divine Love: to gain the absolute and supreme certainty that Christianity is now what Christ Jesus taught and demonstrated--health, holiness, immortality. The highest spir-itual Christianity in individual lives is indispensable to the acquiring of greater power in the perfected Science of healing all manner of diseases. This is what those early Christian heroes had happening in their life and in their consciousness. It happens in lives today.
This is a condensed version of an editorial that appeared in the September 23 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.