We all need a hero.
Yes, Jesus is our ultimate and irreplaceable champion, but where are the flesh and blood people who can serve as our examples? In my last post, I told the story of John W. Jones, an ex-slave who acted every bit a hero by honoring confederate soldiers who died and were buried at the prison camp in Elmira, NY. He lived Jesus’ words to love our enemies. John W. Jones is one of many authentic Underground Railroad workers I researched for my novel, Dark Enough to See the Stars.
Someone who just finished my book told me they had read many accounts of the Civil War and the events that led up to it, but this was the first book she had read that emphasized the kindnesses that people had extended to escaping slaves. We need to see the positives that God provides in the midst of darkness. In other words, we need to see a North Star that points the way in the night. That light is usually a person who defies convention and acts out of love, forgiveness, and human kindness rather than hate and fear. He or she often overcomes his own fears and risks his own life and reputation to help set someone else free.
When we see people act like Jesus, it helps us become like Jesus.
We all know that telling our kids to do the right thing is easy, but having our kids watch us do the right thing will have a greater impact. We become what we behold.
Historical fiction is an entertaining and informative vehicle that can show us heroes and inspire us to become one. I like to find brave men and women from our past and weave them into stories that can impact our future. Because we all need a hero to follow.