Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Holding Out for a Hero

One of the most troubling aspects of the media coverage of last week's massacre at Virginia Tech is the incessant focus on the killer. Lori and I happened to catch much of Oprah last night (it replays at 9pm here in Orlando) and the episode was on the role that the media has played in giving to the killer at Va Tech. NBC News defended its decision to play the home videos that the killer made as psychiatrists and parents of the victims chimed in on whether they think the media has overdone it with the attention given to the murderer.

One question that was asked was why are we putting so much attention on an evil person that destroyed many lives when there are some amazing stories to be told among those whose lives were taken? There were at least four of those murdered that were involved with Campus Crusade. I hope the media will speak of their faith as college students and their desire to live for Jesus. If they were really living for Him and that was the central thing of their life, then tell it! Why don't we talk more of the heroes of this tragedy instead of the killer?

One of the most amazing stories is that of Liviu Librescu, the professor who blocked the door to his classroom so that his students could escape. A Holocaust survivor, Dr. Librescu was no stranger to tragedy. It has been said that difficult times do not necessarily shape our character, but these times reveal it. At a time of shock and terror, Dr. Librescu's character was revealed as heroic and sacrificial. Of the 23 students in his classroom at the time, just one was killed. How many of those 23 wouldn't have made it out were it not for Professor Librescu's heroics?

Our society often calls people heroes. Great stars. There is a difference between being great at your craft or being nice and being a hero. Its a term that seems to be used too loosely. I think a hero is someone that willingly put their life in harm's way for the benefit of others. Dr. Librescu and others in Blacksburg that saved others fall into this category. Police fighters...lifeguards that jump into the water to save drowning victims...those in the line of fire in the military are heroes. And the three individuals who lost their lives last week because they simply wanted to put God's Word into the hands of those that hadn't read it are big-time heroes in my book.

And I can't leave out the greatest super-duper hero of all time, Jesus the Christ! He put His life on the line so that my sin and junk could be forgiven. I just hope that if I'm ever in a situation like what happened last week that I would gladly give my life to save others. And if it ever comes to that, I know that my hero, Jesus, will take care of me and my loved ones just fine.

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