It was a gray building with a two-car driveway connected to the main highway. It was so nondescript, I had to double-check the address to assure myself I was in the right location. I rang the doorbell and after a few moments, was allowed to enter a narrow hallway. Hundreds of photos were plastered on the wall. Famous musicians, singers, celebrities-all very familiar names had signed their photos and included a personal message of thanks. I was definitely in the right place!
One of my guitar amplifiers was in need of repair and this shop was recommended by a friend. I soon discovered this was THE electronic music repair shop in Los Angeles, frequented by the A-listers and amateurs, like myself.
“Hey, I know these guys!” I recognized a group of familiar faces and pointed at the photo. They were a very well-known pop band that started in Hawaii in the early seventies. They achieved some degree of national fame and selectively toured the mainland states and smaller concert venues, often attended by Hawaiian expatriates.
The owner of the store leaned over the counter and recognized the photo. “Yeah! They used to come here when they were performing in L.A.”
I nodded. “Wow. That must have been in the eighties…because most of them are dead.”
“Yup. Like a lot of them.”
I knew the tragic story very well. Drugs, mental health issues, prison-so much promise and wasted potential. When I was in high school, every credible guitar player had to be able to play and sing their songs and their music is still popular in Hawaii. They and many others were the heroes of my youth. But like this sad story, so many succumbed to a dangerous and destructive lifestyle. Who are my heroes today?
As I have grown older, I discovered my real heroes are people few have ever heard. They are the unsung heroes of my life. One person is a woman who briefly worked for me. She was very good at her job and got along well with the rest of the staff. During her breaks, she would be seen texting on her cell phone. I unexpectedly walked in on her during one of these breaks when her phone vibrated. Embarrassed, she looked at me and said, “I’m sorry Doctor, it’s my daughter texting me.”
“No!” I reassured her. “I’m sorry for interrupting.”
She quickly replied to her daughter, smiling as she read the text. “How is your daughter doing?” I asked her. “You once told me she was in college?”
“Yes,” she beamed. “She is on the east coast. Every morning I text her with a Bible verse and send her a prayer. She was replying to my morning text.”
“That is so wonderful!” I was touched by the love this mother had for her daughter. A month later, she informed me that she and her husband made the decision to move to the east coast. Her daughter was experiencing some undisclosed hardships and after much prayer, she and her husband agreed to sacrifice their home and jobs in Los Angeles to move and support her.
I truly miss her godly presence in my office but her faith profoundly moved me. Her daily devotional prayers to her daughter inspired me to begin writing these daily blogs, initially sent only to my immediate family. Outside of her immediate family, very few people know what she sacrificed and did for her family, and this is why she is my hero.
And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
Mark 12:41-44 (ESV)
Jesus Christ recognized the sacrifice of this poor widow when everyone else ignored her. She was seeking only to honor God, not desiring to impress anyone else. The rich and ostentatious displays of those around her called attention to themselves. God called attention to this widow’s selfless action. In God’s Kingdom, many who are first will be last and many who are last will be first. We do not know the names of the rich and famous making their offerings at the treasury that day, but we will always know the widow’s heroic and selfless action. God honors the humble and forgotten when they live a life dedicated to serving Him.
This is a true hero!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.