I’m Holding Out for a Hero
May 23, 2017
“Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep.” -Luke 6:25
Like everyone else, I’ve been following the news these past months with curiosity normally reserved for Game of Thrones spoilers. Each weekday, as the day draws to a close, I anxiously refresh the news sites, awaiting that day’s new bombshell of a crisis.
It’s hard, during these tumultous times, to know which way is up. When every day brings a new level of panic and uncertainty, it is instinctive to look for someone who appears to know What We Should Do Now. A Hero, who can lead us out of this mess.
Unfortunately, those seem few on the ground. While we’ve seen glimpses of principled behavior, on the whole, knights riding to the rescue haven’t appeared on the horizon. But I wonder, upon reading Luke’s beatitudes, if they don’t stand as a warning against knights in general?
For as tempting as it is to depend wholly on a person, a single figure to solve our problems, and tell us what to do, the uncomfortable reality remains that no hero is perfect. The one who knows what to do today may be clueless tomorrow. The one who is laughing now will be mourning tomorrow. The one who has food today, will be starving tomorrow. Nothing human is certain.
And yet, we keep trying to turn humans into perfect idols to solve our problems for us.
Jesus, however, doesn’t send us idols. (I seem to recall some rather harsh language about idols, actually.) Jesus instead gives us reason, empathy, and each other, with our varied gifts. He asks each of us to do our part–to weep with the weeping, to celebrate with the laughing, to resist alongside the oppressed, and to feed along with the well-fed. Together, we are the hero we need.
Megan Castellan is our writer this week. She serves as Assistant Rector at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Missouri, and diocesan youth coordinator for the Metro Kansas City area. Her ongoing adventures and strong opinions are chronicled in her blog Red Shoes, Funny Shirt and on Twitter @revlucymeg. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, playing with yarn, throwing jellybeans at politicians she disagrees with on TV, and cheering on KC-based sportsball teams.