Heroes are Raised, not Born*

Calvin had coal black hair and brown eyes. His slender build made him appear taller than he really was. Still, he was over six feet. He had gone to a university in Texas to be trained as a missionary. Although he was more interested in people than books, he did quite well as a student. And, after graduation, his professors suggested he go right on to graduate school.

Needing a break, he decided to take a short missionary trip to South America where he could get some much needed hands-on experience in the field before returning to his studies.

Not one to go it alone, Calvin was joined by his friends Bill, Todd, Dana and Andrea. All had been students at the same university, and the chance to do missionary work together was something they’d talked about. So, they boarded a plane to Brazil, where they would spend three months helping to plant a church.

One month into their stay, tragedy struck. They were swimming together in the Pacific Ocean when a riptide pulled them all out to sea. Calvin, Bill, and Todd made their way back to shore only to discover that Dana and Andrea weren’t with them. Without concern for his personal safety, Calvin dove back into the water. He swam to Dana and Andrea and literally pulled them to the edge of the surf where Bill and Todd could easily lift them to safety. But before Calvin could catch his breath, another riptide carried him back out to sea. Exhausted from the rescue, Calvin obviously had no strength left to fight the strong current, and he drowned a few yards from those he’d just saved.

Without Calvin’s heroic efforts, two would have died that day instead of one. Dana’s and Andrea’s parents spoke at Calvin’s memorial service. They spoke of how blessed they were to have had Calvin as a friend to their daughters.

“Had we been there, we would have done everything to save the lives of our children,” they said. “But, we weren’t there. And so God had appointed Calvin to be their rescuer—he was divinely selected to lay down his life for his friends.”

The story above is echoed many times in the heroic deeds of friends who literally gave their lives saving loved ones in Aurora, Colorado in what the press has now dubbed, “The Midnight Movie Massacre”.  “Great evil often brings out the best in good men,“ writes William Bennett (CNN Contributor), “men like Todd Beamer on Flight 93, Medal of Honor recipient Michael Murphy in Afghanistan, and now the Aurora three—young men, each in different parts of theatre 9, who gave their lives to protect their… friends”.

This is what raising our sons and daughters is really all about—instilling in them a “Code of Honor” where their first impulse is “to protect, not run away”.  In light of this recent, horrific tragedy here are some difficult questions for thought and discussion:1. what would you tell your son or daughter to do if they encountered a “bully”? Would you encourage them to resort to physical retaliation if threatened with bodily harm?2.  Do you think it’s a good idea to let your son or daughter learn the Martial Arts for the purpose of self-defense?  (Remember, at least one of the heroes in Aurora was trained as a Security Guard to act swiftly in self-defense—in this case, on behalf of others.)

* This article first appeared in the August issue of the award-winning Colorado Catholic Herald 2012.

About the Author

As an Episcopal priest, Fr. Michael is married to Rachel, a principal with The Classical Academy, and they have two grown children—Patrick and Kayla. They have been married for over 25 years and in 1991 lost an infant daughter, Cara, to a birth defect. Home from Oz (Word) and The Oz Syndrome (Hillcrest) were books that Michael penned shortly after her death that helped him to process her early passing.

A Best-Selling author or co-author of nearly 10 books, Fr. Michael’s latest book, What a Son Needs from His Dad (Baker/Bethany House Publishers), has already–-in just a few months–-gone into its 3rd printing; and his monthly column in The Colorado Catholic Herald has just won a Catholic Press Association (National) Award for 2012.

For more Information, please click: http://qwi.ki/KRdxPp

For more information, please see: Wikipedia Article


~ by revdrmichael on August 15, 2012.

One Response to “Heroes are Raised, not Born*”

  1. The Aurora Colorado thing is mention in your article here. I see a conflict. Your experience in the ocean taught you to teach as many skills as possible. Teach them survival skills then you tend to lean towards don’t teach people how to fight back physically or with gun safety etc. Heroes are raised not born. What are people to do if the can’t fight guns with guns? What do they do if they can’t fight physical strength with physical strength? You can’t lock them all up.
    If the are not raised with all these skills how can they achieve more hero opportunities? If people do not experience more learning the safety of all these negatives too, where are they lead too?

    I don’t believe God wants any human limited to being a hero in just one thing. I mention my views on the church in my blog as well. Feel free to examine it. I like your position on the catholic faith so far by just this one article. and bio. You have a talent. This kind of talent shouldn’t be limited. Your experiences make you able to see more. Especially since they were shared with friends.

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