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Did you know youre a hero
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The Tale of Despereaux written by Kate DiCamillo in 2003 then adapted into an animated film in 2008 by Universal Pictures tells the story of a courageous big-eared mouse, Despereaux, who breaks all the official mouse rules to save a lonely princess, restore a broken-hearted king, bring hope to the towns-people and live out who he was really meant to be. Instead of quivering in fear, hiding in corners and scurrying off at the first sign of trouble like “normal mice” Despereaux breaks from the norm. He’s extraordinarily brave, adventurous, confident, and filled with compassion for others. He willing faces any challenge that comes his way and makes a significant difference to those around him.. My favorite line in the movie is when the narrator introduces the valiant mouse into the story. In one simple sentence he explains the very purpose of Despereaux being Despereaux. “A hero doesn’t show up until the world really needs one.” Indeed, a hero was needed in Despereaux’s world and so he showed up.

While Despereaux is a fictional character in a great fiction story, there is a very real character in a very real story that showed up over two thousand years ago when the world needed a hero most. Perhaps you’ve heard of him? His name is Jesus. In likeness to our friend Despereaux, Jesus went against the norm and loved the unlovely, forgave the unforgiveable, healed the sick, and provided for needs when no other provisions could be found. Indeed, Jesus met all of life’s challenges head on including the greatest challenge of all, conquering death. The people in Jesus’ time needed a hero, someone to love them, help them, save them and change them. And so by God’s design Jesus showed up and met the need. (Isaiah 9:6)

So here we are thousands of years later and when we look around we see that there is still a lot of need. The unlovely, the unforgivable, the dead spirited, the broken hearted and the sick still wander the earth. But what does this mean? Was Jesus only a great hero in His day and age but not now? Are we now in need of a new hero to meet our needs? Absolutely not! As we learn from Hebrews 13: 8 Jesus was the hero we needed then, the hero we need now and the only hero we’ll need for all eternity.

Our hero Jesus showed up for the hurting, the lost and the weak way back then and He still shows up today, only now He likes to “show up” and make a difference through us, through our kind words, simple actions and humble hearts.

Singer/song writer Mandisa explains how God uses simple things to reveal His love for us, as only true hero do in her song God Speaking.

“Have you ever heard a love song that set your spirit free

Have you ever watched a sunrise and felt you couldn’t breathe

What’s if it’s Him

What if it’s God speaking.

Who knows how He’ll get a hold of us

Get our attention to prove He is enough

He’ll do and He’ll use

Whatever He wants to

To tell us, I love you.”

God has chosen believers like you and I to be the Despereaux of our time. We are how other’s see Him.  He’s called us to be heroes in our faith to “show up” by displaying Christ-like love through our words and actions, not only to people who we think deserve it, but to those that we know don’t. That’s what Jesus did and that’s what a real hero is all about. Take a moment today to thank God for His son Jesus, our hero. Then ask Him how you can be a better Christ-like hero too..