Thursday, 20 March 2014
The Thursday meanderings of my mind . . .
“All heroes are shadows of Christ”
When I was a girl I had a very specific idea in my head about what a hero was. I can remember being asked when I was at school to write an essay on my favourite hero. It was very difficult for me to pick one . . . there were many who inspired me . . . and none of them were very famous.
To me, a hero was someone who set a good example or who had made a difference in other people's lives. A person, or even an animal . . . who touched someone's life, however briefly . . . and left a positive mark in some way. Someone who you could say made your world a better place for them having been there.
They didn't wear red capes and were not able to leap over high buildings in a single bound. They didn't have magic lasso's of truth. They did not wear white hats or ride on bold stallions, have number one pop singles, or gold statuettes on their mantles. They were simple ordinary folk . . . like you and like me.
My first heroines were the women in my family . . . my great grandmother, my grandmother, my mother, my aunts . . . these stoic and hard working women who cared for each of us, and did all that they could for us . . . that loved us voraciously. They taught me the type of woman I should strive to be. They were beautiful examples of caring and honest, and of selfless service to others . . . of the values of loyalty and honor. Stick-to-it-iveness, and thrift. They taught me to love the gentle art of making a home, and of caring for family . . .
And then there was my dad. He may never have seen himself as a hero but he was. A hero who taught me to be able to laugh at myself and with others . . . to love the written word, and music. A man who worked hard to make sure that his family had all that they were in need of and then some. To love the Lord and the value of prayer. He gave me my first Bible and my early memories of going to church are of going with him, which may be surprising to some in my family . . . my every memory of my early childhood Christmas's and Easters are of my sitting beside him at church. He always went, and he always took me. My mother stayed home with my sister and my brother. He taught me that real men could cry and were not ashamed to show their tears or to have feelings.
This is a photograph of the end of the school year awards ceremony at the end of Grade one. I am second from the left wearing saddle shoes (loved them!) and my teacher was named Miss Beizick. I don't know if I spelt that correctly or not. She had been my teacher that year. I was fortunate enough to have had very good teachers in my life, both at school and at Sunday school and at home. They, too . . . were my heroes and heroines They inspired in me a love of learning which has never left me. They inspired me to ask questions and to seek true and honest answers. Some of what they taught were lessons I had already learnt at home, but they helped to re-enforce those same lessons so that they became a part and parcel of who I was and who I would become.
Other women I looked up to and was inspired by were women of historic value . . . women like Florence Nightingale, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Anne Frank, Golda Meir, Alice Paul, Ida B Wells, and yes . . . Margaret Thatcher. Women who stood up and were counted, who would not be silenced, who led by their strong examples and who achieved something of worth to mankind and women every where, and these are only the tip of the iceberg . . . there were ever so many more than this mere handful I speak of . . .
Their examples taught me that if you know something to be right and to be true you must speak up for it. If you see those that are downtrodden or something which is happening that is wrong . . . you must act, no matter the consequences. That we are not here quite simply to exist . . . but that we are here to make the world a better place. And it is not only the examples of strong and good women which have inspired me, but also the examples of men like Martin Luther King and John F Kennedy . . . Paul Revere and Nelson Mandella . . . and most important of all . . . the Saviour.
That is who my heroes and heroines were, and I have only just scratched the surface. Who were yours?
A thought to carry with you through today.
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"March bustles in on windy feet
And sweeps my doorstep and my street.
She washes and cleans with pounding rains,
Scrubbing the earth of winter stains.
She shakes the grime from carpet green
Till naught but fresh new blades are seen.
Then, house in order, all neat as a pin,
She ushers gentle springtime in."
- Susan Reiner, Spring Cleaning
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Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Cheddar and Pepper Breakfast Farls, with Eggs, Tomatoes and Crispy Bacon. The ultimate breakfast sarnie!
~✿ ░H░A░P░P░Y░✿ ░S░P░R░I░N░G░ ✿~