I can’t be the only person who has this daydream.
I’m a superhero. Or an ordinary person in a super situation.
We’re all hostages. It’s a church activity – probably youth group. I’m one of the leaders. Gunmen have stormed the room. We cower on the floor. Lights flicker. A few people are crying – albeit quietly – hoping, praying even not to draw attention. Some of the people protect their friends, others huddle in a fetal position. We all are hugging the ground, trying not to appear unusual or defiant.
“We’re going to kill you all!” one of the gunmen shouts.
I stand. “No.”
“I’ll take their place. I’ll go with you, if you leave the rest of them alone.”
Somewhere between standing and offering to take everyone’s place – to the admiration of all around – I find time to take night classes with Chuck Norris and Mr. Miyagi and suckerpunch the trash out of these guys. A good jab in the jugular, kick in the nuts – yep, I show those guys who is boss.
You don’t mess with my peeps.
I’m the hero. I save the world. I turn down the ticker-tape parade, but it’s hard to convince everyone that’s not necessary.
then I wake up.
I can’t possibly be the only one who has superhero dreams. I can’t be the only one who wants to save the world – to laugh in the face of danger, while conquering it with my pinky finger and my other hand tied behind my back.
What gets crazy is when you realize that it’s real. I’ve had the superhero dreams of giving it all for God – but they’d only stayed as fantasies. Then, one day, my fantasy world knocked on the doors of reality – reminding me that danger exists outside my imagination.
Sharing the gospel can be dangerous. I’d always heard about this, but I learned that it was true in Mexico back in 2008.
I was with my church on a week-long missions trip with my church. There were four of us attending a small Bible study in a nationals’ home. We were teaching on Daniel every night that week. So far, the people had loved it, and we were stoked to be a part of the study. It was awesome.
I held the small children and entertained them in the bedroom section of the one room house, praying for the others as they shared and translated.
This one night, however, I was sitting in the circle, holding the child.
We’d already started, and one woman had not yet come. We’d started without her, but had not gotten far when she walked in, obviously devastated.
“What’s wrong,” my pastor asked.
“My husband is drunk,” she said, between her tears. “He forbade me from coming here tonight.” She continued, telling us that her husband did not approve of us coming, teaching the Bible. He forbade her from leaving her folk catholic beliefs to accept Jesus. He had threatened to come to the Bible study to fetch her if she defied him and came.
We froze. Her husband? Drunk? Would he really come to fetch her? Stop our study? Stop us?
Uncertainty swirled around us.
“Would it be better if we stopped and left?” my pastor asked our national pastor friend who was translating.
He offered that we could leave.
She looked at him like that was the dumbest idea in the world. “No,” she said, wiping the last of her tears from her wrinkled face. “Nothing will stop me from hearing the word of God.”
At that moment, a chill went through my body. This was risk. This was taking a chance for the gospel. This was flirting – no, openly begging danger to come and be a part of her life.
We continued the study, but watched the door in case he came. I’ll confess – I spent that night of the Bible study praying harder.
I prayed for her faith, that it would blossom even more. I prayed that her husband would sober up and not beat her later. I prayed that she would be a light and testimony to the small town around her. That people would believe.
I’d always read biographies of people who risked it all for God – and were sometimes called on to give that. I’d dreamed of it happening to me – that I would stand when the occasion called. I’d never dreamed that it could actually happen.
Her words haunt me to this day. She was ready to be that superhero I’d always dreamed I would be.
Your turn: do you dream of being a superhero, or is it really just me? Have you had a time when something you really believed in proved to have an element of danger to it?
Share your thoughts in the comments. You never know when what you have to say could be just what someone else needs to know. Also – I really do want to know if you have superhero dreams too!