Heroes: Fallen Or Pushed?

It’s dangerous to have heroes.  Well, living ones anyway. Even the dead ones are fraught with dangers too. That’s one reason why I find it hard to read  biographies of people I admire. Either they come across as saintlike and unreal, or they’re brutally exposed.  They rarely survive scrutiny and my hopes mingle with the dust of their reputations.

Not that it’s stops me.  I’m a hero-seeking missile.  As soon as one is toppled, I find another. I’ve got a specially-designed plinth rigged-up and newly painted, with a hoist that stretches into the sky. I need someone to worship –  to copy and follow. To pour the weight of my hopes and longings into their glorious perfection.

That’s the issue you see.  Perfection.   It’s not enough for me to admire someone or seek to be like them in certain ways. I need my hero to be flawless. I want them to make up for every fault in everyone I’ve ever trusted and who’s let me down. I want an infallible father, a golden brother, a passionate lover.  I want a hero streaked with blood, a champion, who will lead me singing, into battle: I want someone like me, but different: someone flawless and beautiful and worthy of worship.

This post has been filled by Jesus.  But somehow I forget.

I read about people who achieve amazing things:  celebrities, doctors, writers, poets.

Christian leaders.

I build them up in my head.  I praise them to their face and to others.  I consider myself a follower, a disciple, a devotee, a subscriber.  And in return, all I ask is that they never, ever make a mistake.

If they do, they’re letting me down.  They’re destroying my hopes. I’ve put them in the place of the real Saviour; and when they can’t do His job, I’ll kill them with my anger. I’ll bury them under my disappointment.  I’ll oust them from my life for not living up to a job they didn’t know they had.

I say they fell from grace: but truth be told, it wasn’t there to start with.

5 thoughts on “Heroes: Fallen Or Pushed?

  1. Oh, so true of me too. Though I hate to admit it. So often I go the other way and ignore everyone because I know they’ll disappoint. Forgetting, of course, that so will I.

  2. Wow. Brutal but very sharp. That has been me on numerous occasions.

    The fact that Jesus died for THAT particular ‘saint’ gets lost somewhere in my self righteous anger.

  3. I’m not o.k. and you’re not o.k. but that’s o.k! Yes perfectionism spoils EVERYTHING. I too dread finding out the “truth” about my heroes but am drawn to it like a drunk to the rum cake. I often see people in black and white. If I love them at first, I almost go on a mission to find the pill in all the jam. On the other hand, if I hate them at first, I am so reluctant to see any value in them. A misunderstanding of my own status for sure.

  4. I’m reading Capon’s ‘Parables of Grace’ and I’ve just finished the initial section on Forgiveness. It’s interesting how the ‘church’ picks up on all the stuff about binding and loosing, disciplining and dis-fellowship-ping people here and totally misses the ACTUAL teaching of Jesus in the parables about grace and His cardinal statement on forgiveness to Peter. Exercises of power by popular leaders are actually examples of our DISTANCE from God’s kingdom, not our membership of it. The work of Christ is to be marked by deep, unmerited and total love – what a church we’d be if this became the first thing everyone around us identified as the hallmark of Christianity.

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