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Tindell Baldwin »

The Hero Every Story Needs

I have a weakness for ridiculous novels. The more absurd the story line the more I like it. I’m currently halfway through a series about a time traveling teenager from London who is trying to solve this great family mystery with her hunky older time traveling buddy…. don’t judge… it’s totally written for my age bracket….fifteen years ago. I would blame my love of writing on this little habit, or the fact that my parents put money towards a car when I was younger if I would read something besides Glamour, but the truth is my chronic insomnia is what keeps me up at night turning pages (see what I did there). So because of this little habit I have read far too many teenage novels that involve ridiculous love stories where both the characters have a curfew and I realize I should probably find another hobby.

There is one thing I notice in any book I seem to read, there always has to be a hero. He’s normally male and described as tall, dark, and handsome (unless you are reading twilight where he is average height, pale, sparkly, and blood thirsty… this is stuff great books are made of). The hero is always somewhat predictable but I never really care. I just want him to sweep in with his one liner and see the perfect bow put on the story. Novels are so much easier than real life.

We are all living out a story and the other unavoidable part of stories is conflict and often pain. That’s normally where the hero comes in. The problem with real life is that the hero never shows up when we need them to. The main characters can be really tough people to love and at the end of the day we don’t get to shut the book of our lives and wait for the next chapter. I like to think of my story as always being written but there seems to be a common theme even in my comfortable life… I always need a hero and no human will do.

The only hero that has ever swept in strong and saved me is Jesus. It sounds so Sunday school but it’s just who God is. He is the hero. He is the only part of our stories worth telling. He is what makes me a good mom, a loving wife, or a caring friend. He is what pushes me to die to selfishness and embrace a life of giving away. Hero’s always change things. They come into circumstances and make them different. This is the essence of God. The most messed up of people can find restoration when God walks into the story. He is always the hero. He is always the one worth praising. He is the one who gives peace in a world so filled with evil.

I recently listened to a john piper sermon where he explained that all the good parts of life are from God. I can see that every day when I look at my story. The beautifully written parts, the loving parts, the parts where I forgave instead of held onto bitterness, the parts where I got what I didn’t deserve, the memories of playing with my brothers, the hours I spend laughing with my husband, when I look at my kids and my heart and eyes well up with joy, all the good in life is from God. The hero of any story is the God who saves anyone who calls on him. Life may be a mess and mines not nearly as exciting as many of my novels but I know who the hero is. I know who will save me. I know who I can hope in. I know who will show up, not always like I expect or like I think I need but I know who I can call on when life starts to go in a million directions. I know who can always save my plotline.


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