Every Story Has A Hero

by Mary Johnson, Director Children's Ministries and ATB&B

          "True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.
           It is not the urge to surpass all others
at whatever cost,
           but the urge to serve others at whatever cost."
                                                                        Arhur Ashe

This year our Vacation Bible Camp is all about Heroes! While our classrooms at ATB&B have an array of Superhero costumes including Batman and Superman, it will be a little more challenging to find the costumes to represent the Heroes of the Bible that we will learn about. Noah and David and Moses will come alive for the children in the stories that are told. But if you don't have the t-shirt or the cape, can you really relate to them? That will be our challenge. A very welcome and fun challenge. Batman may have a really super cool bat mobile but Noah had an awesome Ark! When we invite the children into the conversation about what it means to be a hero, there will no doubt be references to super powers; flying, bending steel, seeing through walls and the obligatory reference to getting the "bad guys". So just how they will process the stories of the Bible Heroes will an adventure for all of us at camp.

While looking for various points to include in this article there was one definition of a hero that I particularly liked. It defined a hero as someone who transforms the personal virtue of compassion into a civic virtue of heroism. The civic heroes of our lifetime are obvious. Those who have stood up to bigotry and prejudice and social injustice. And there are probably too many times when we don't think we could ever be "that type" of hero. And we don't need to be. There are opportunities that we encounter in our daily lives that challenge us to speak up - get involved - and not be the bystander waiting for someone else to help out. These are the opportunities we will ask the children in our camp to be mindful of as they grow and learn what it means to be a hero. There was a time when I would have said it is too big a concept - too much for them to understand. But I've been doing this long enough now to know that as young as they are - they do get it. I always learn something from them and I am certain this summer will be no different.