This week's Sunday Scribblings is to write about a hero. The first person that comes to mind is Jesus Christ. The people that DON'T come to mind are celebrities, athletes, and politicians. Instead of focusing on Jesus as the ultimate hero, which he is, I have chosen a person (two, really), who I am familiar with through South Houston Bible Institute here in Houston, Texas, and through my church, New Beginnings, also in Houston in the Clear Lake City area. He and his wife are the closest things to heroes that I will ever know in my lifetime.
First, what is a hero? A hero is one who is considered good and noble, often courageous and brave. A hero is willing to sacrifice himself in order for the greater good to be achieved. He shows outstanding character, or perhaps has performed a heroic act or deed. Lastly, he is admired and respected.
B. Shelburne is the President of the South Houston Bible Institute. He is an ordained minister who serves as an elder at my church. When I first began attending New Beginnings Church, I was attending a class in Hebrews on Wednesday nights taught by B. Almost instantly, I knew I could trust this man and his breadth of knowledge. If ever I had a question on scripture, I would know whom to contact.
Shortly after I began attending Sunday services, B. and his wife Ruth invited me to breakfast to get to know me. I remember feeling so nervous and shaky, although I said yes, I would go to breakfast with them. Within the first five minutes of our time together, I was completely at ease. I was not being judged. I was not worried about being inferior, and I wasn't worried that I was being quizzed on my actions or beliefs. They were truly trying to get to know me! Imagine that! They wanted to know ME!
These are people who have been involved in ministry, probably for 40-50 years, or thereabouts. They were missionaries in Africa for 19 years, and oh, the stories they can tell! It takes a great calling and a great amount of sacrifice to spend 19 years in service to the Lord, much less in a poor nation with little or no necessities that we are accustomed to, and to raise a family including an adopted child at the same time!
Just a few minutes with B. and Ruth and one knows their hearts are pure. They are wise, and kind, and open, and loving. They have sacrificed much, and their love has touched hearts worldwide. There is no jealousy in them, nor judgment, nor selfishness, nor pride. They are human, yes, but they have the qualities I aspire to have if I could just be like them in some small way. They have been a faithful married couple for almost 50 years. Their children have all grown up to be servants of the Lord in different ways. Servants. That is what their Biblical philosophy can be summed up as. They are servants of the Lord and work for the greater good of humanity with a genuine love and concern for all people.
If that is not good and noble... if that is not brave and courageous... if their lives have not been of sacrifice... if they are not of good character... if they are not admired and respected... then heroes don't exist. But I know they do. They are my opinion of modern-day heroes, and I am so blessed to know them.