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A Hero for Everyday Evil

A Hero for Everyday Evil

“I wish there was a war, so I could do something big—like Anne Frank or Alexander Hamilton.” My eleven-year-old paused from his self-imposed evening journaling. “That’s why I’m writing this. One day, when I’m important, people will know about my childhood.” He had that childish look in his eyes—that look of potential, when anything imagined really is possible.

I sent up a silent, millisecond prayer. How could I bring him into reality and encourage him at the same time?

I looked him in the eye. “You’re already important. You’ve already changed lives, and you don’t need a war for that to be true.” His look shifted slightly from potential to expectant. Oh, what should I say next? I stalled. “Umm… There’s your dad and me. You certainly changed our lives.”

He smiled. “Well, yeah. I’m your child.”

“There are a lot of other people too.” I hoped my raised eyebrows emphasized the earnestness of my words. “People at school and other friends who think you’re important in their lives. People you are kind to and people who actually need your friendship. God made you to fit exactly in this place at this time. Nobody else could fit where you fit, so your chance to be noble and important is all around you.” I paused. So far, no discouragement in those big brown eyes.

He leaned against his headboard. “If there was a war or something big, I think I would step up. I would do something meaningful.”

I smiled. “I think you would too. And I hope I would be right beside you.” I pushed again. “It doesn’t feel big, but you are fighting. You battle everyday evil all the time.”

He rolled the phrase around on his tongue. “Everyday evil? That’s personal.”

“Yes, and ugly…and messy…and often harder than one big, important act.”

“I do that.” I could see scenes racing through his head: times he chose kindness, times he stood up for the weak kid, times he answered questions about God.

“You do. Listen, maybe you’ll be a hero, and maybe you won’t, but you’re already fighting a battle, and you’re already important to many people. You always will be.”

I brushed his hair out of his eyes and kissed him on a still-smooth cheek: my noble, important, warrior-son, the combatant of everyday evil.

I paused at the door. “I’ll tell you sometime about how I’ve always known you’d be important.” Then I left the light on so he could finish journaling.

Don’t we all long to do something noble and important? Let’s help our children see the heroic nature of their everyday choices and the value of their unique place in their communities.

By: Carole Sparks, mother of two and Bible study author, constantly sees God at work in her life and her family’s experiences. She’s still amazed by how parenting teaches her more about God, and she’s always looking for ways to help her children be authentic Christ-followers. Check out her website at www.carolesparks.com or her parenting blog at www.notaboutme1151parenting.wordpress.com.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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