The Hero Within

In a writer’s world we are the masters of the pen (actually a computer keyboard, but that didn’t sound as cool). We create complicated characters through various techniques and tell them what to do.

But then they take on a life of their own and begin to tell us what the story is about. This can be quite fascinating, like sitting at a movie, watching the story unfold. Other times it’s frustrating because these life-like characters make bad choices or behave poorly (there’s always at least one), resisting our intended purposes for them.

When I think of writing in these terms, my thoughts drift to our Creator, and I wonder if God sees us in similar fashion. Aren’t we like His characters, created with His purpose in mind? Yet we have free will and the ability to choose poorly, or wisely.

God gives us that room, though I know we must frustrate him terribly at times. The Israelites certainly did. (Aren’t we still Israelites at times?) But part of the joy I experience in writing a powerful scene with my characters is seeing them grow and embrace God’s love and truth. There’s a sense of victory there even though these characters exist only in my head.

I remember as a kid imagining these scenes where the heroine (usually me, of course!) persevered and made this huge impact or discovery. I walked into the sunset as a new inspiration to my fellow underdogs (the theme of many teen movies).

The funny part of all this is, the longer I write and study the books and movies that are popular, the more I find a universal theme there—of a nobody discovering they have some kind of special gift that helps them save the day. A gift that comes from somewhere outside them and suddenly this feels-like-a-nobody character blooms into someone unique.

Now the amazing part. It’s a story theme that’s existed for thousands of years. The one I like best? The one in the Bible.

Jesus was just an ordinary carpenter. He didn’t look like much to those who resented and envied Him. He didn’t appear a whole lot different from the men He walked with. He started out as a nobody in the eyes of those around Him. But to know Him was to know He walked in greatness and humility.

He walked this earth like a man, yet within He holds a power to “save the day.” And every person who knows Him.

His is the story of the ultimate Messiah, the one true Savior of the world. He was and is the true Hero of the story—of the world and of our lives.

And the absolutely mind-blowing final part? He lives in us, changing us from nondescript nobodies to uniquely gifted individuals created to fit into a true story.

His story.

23 thoughts on “The Hero Within

  1. What an awesome post. I was drinking my morning tea and jotting down thoughts for a new story when I read this. I’m so glad I did!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Jackie

  2. Ahh! Jesus… the ultimate HERO; and the best story teller the world will ever know.It is so indescribably incredible that He now resides within us. What a great thought to start the day with. Thanks for this post Dineen.

  3. I’m thankful to know that God is in charge of character development. There’s always a larger theme at work — one which I often lose sight of whenever I try to take over the pen, or the keyboard. Thank goodness He’s a skillful and creative carpenter.

  4. If I momentarily go off on a tangent, I heard an interview today where the interviewee keep taking about heroes and “she-roes.” I assume she was trying to make the point that heroes (beginning with “he”) were males, so she-roes must be their female counterpart.

    Although ridiculous to me, my thought was that heroes begins with “her,” so the male version would be him-roes.

    Seriously, though. Most of my heroes are in the Bible, both the male and female variety.

  5. I loved your post. Jesus is a true hero and is always available when ever we call. I love how the characters do seem to take on a life of their own and we just go along for the ride. It is so cool.
    Thank you for your insight.
    Glenda Parker

  6. The challenge? Sharing His story with others who aren’t inclined to listen to the story. Or who don’t even feel invited to listen–who feel excluded. No matter where someone is on their faith journey–doubter, questioner, new-to-the-story–everyone is made in the image of God.

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