My father is my greatest hero. He set a high bar for me to shoot for as a husband, father, and spiritual giant. He taught me everything I know about how to stick it out in tough times and come out the better for it. When I grow up I want to be just like Dad. He is sitting now by his mother's deathbed with faith and humility that is a testimony of faithfulness.
My other heroes in life have varied as the seasons of my life have passed. As I mature in my Christian faith, I realize that many of the heroes of my past were not the best role models to follow. In the years of my life when I was consumed by the American dream of sucess and comfort, most of my heroes were the men that had reached the heights of worldly sucess for which I strived. One such man was the most sucessful businessman I personally knew. He had been very blessed by God and truly seemed to have it all. I only knew him from a distance but desired to be just like him. While I was prayer leader at our church he once flew us in his jet to New York City to meet Jim Cymbala and attend a prayer meeting at The Brooklyn Tabernacle. I wanted to be able to do stuff like that for people. What a life!
May 31 marked two years since I walked out of my optometry practices and businesses. It marks the day the whole world changed for me. Even my heroes changed. The American dream and living in bondage to the deceitfulness of riches were becoming a thing of the past. I embarqued on a journey that would take me to places both bodily and spiritually that I never dreamed I would go. In just two short years I have seen God in ways I never dreamed possible. I have learned more about myself and the Kingdom of Heaven than I ever would have imagined. But it has not been easy. There are days I want to jump in the ocean and swim home to America! There are times when I lose sight of the end goal of pleasing God and I only want peace. But that is when God steps in and reminds of where we are headed.
On a hot day about a month ago I was in Port au Prince with Joy buying supplies for the mission. We had been struggling with several things in the ministry and in our family and needed a big dose of grace. Then my phone rang. It was my hero businessman. He never called me when I was living in America and I secretly covetted his life. I didn't even know how he got my number.He began to tell me how God had been working in his life and showing him things he needed to change. He had been reading some books and studying the Bible and God had shown him that his life of indulgence was non-Biblical and that he needed a radical change. He said God put us on his heart and he wanted to know if he could come down to visit so we could talk. I was blown away. My God loves me so much that he took the inner thoughts of my sinful heart and rearranged things in such a way as to unequivocably show me that what He had told me was true. The path He had put us on was the true Way. He showed me unmeritted grace and helped me see He was there.
My hero and now friend did come down and spend the week with us. He shared unashamedly how God was breaking Him and setting him free. His testimony was one of the most powerful I have ever heard first hand of God through His spirit revealing truth to one of his children. It was a great week. I learned so much and received great wisdom from a wise saint. He is now more of a hero in my eyes than he ever was. Not because of what he has or has done, but because of who he is becoming. He has now made my short list of heroes with my dad, pastor Ruffin, Bill Stafford, and Aquaman.