Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Heroes

Ox in the Desert, pen and ink


"An old Roman coin was found on which was a picture of an ox, one of the servants of man. The ox was facing two things, an altar and a plough. The inscription read, 'Ready for either.' "

When I read this quote for the first time nearly fifteen years ago, the words had a profound effect on me, and I've never forgotten them. They can be found in one of my favorite books, Evidence Not Seen, about missionary Darlene Deibler Rose. I think I can honestly say they define how I want to live my life. They're brave words. I'm not brave. But every day, I ask for the grace to aspire to them.

Once I started reading this I couldn't put it down. I'm not very good at writing book reviews, but I can tell you this: Darlene had remarkable strength, surviving four years in an infamous prison camp in the jungles of New Guinea during World War II. Despite great personal loss, she rejected bitterness, served the broken, and conquered her enemies with love. She walked her talk. She was a very real person. She is one of my heroes.

How about you...who are your heroes?



Joining Emily today
Imperfect prose

28 comments:

Ostriches Look Funny said...

wow.
I'm going to have to read this. What an amazing story. That quote is...perfect.
Ready for either?
uh.
Thank you for making me think, thank you for making me pray.

Jodi said...

JoAnn, thank you for being my friend. Poor sweet bunny ;)

joanny said...

Jodi

this is a hard one for I have many -- there are those ordinary men and women who walked the talk for us -- through out the ages, some left us a good written description others did not, on my blog side bar I have a book similar to yours an astonishing autobiography that tells the gripping, heroic story of the early life of Jacques Lusseyran, an inspiring individual who overcame the limitations of physical blindness by attending—literally—to the light within his own mind. Through faith in the connection between vivid inner sight and outer events, he became a leader in the French Resistance and survived the horrors at Buchenwald.
And There Was Light: Autobiography of Jacques Lusseyran, Blind Hero of the French Resistance

Cheers,
Joanny

thank you for your kind comment on my blog.

Kit said...

Jodi,
Oh, I'm going to have to read this one. I love good biographies. Jim Elliot's biography, Through Gates of Splendor, changed my life back in college. I was also deeply affected by a biography I read about J. Hudson Taylor (gave our first born son the middle name Hudson). But the person I come back to time and again is Amy Carmichael, missionary to India in the 1800s. She started an orphanage and began to rescue children from temple prostitution. I've used her daily devotional, Edges of His Ways, for years and years. Always fresh and challenging and comforting at the same time. She spent the last 20 years of her life in bed, essentially, sick and unable to really participate in life except for writing and praying.
I'm going to come back to your quote. It's a deep one and I want to live like that, too.
Thanks for visiting my blog.

Brian Miller said...

i can certainly see why...as far as my heroes...i have many, usually those that stand against injustice...

Nancy said...

I love seeing your work, especially love hearing the story behind it. Will have to check out the book. And I think you are a very brave soul! You've got me thinking about heroes--one would have to be the dear gray-haired neighbor lady who had a backyard Bible club where I was first asked if I had ever asked Jesus to forgive my sins, and I realized I hadn't. Good thing for me to mull over today--I'm sure others will come to mind. Thanks so much for visiting my art-girl friend.

deb said...

oh, I'm sold on finding and learning this story.

I don't know if I have heroes, I'm going to come back and read all the ones people list in their comments though.

-t- said...

Thank you.

i love those quotes, the books, the Book, that change our lives if we participate... it is beautiful to see that you have chosen :)

as i've joined seeking gratitude to offer the Giver of all things i have found that every day i am in awe of a new hero... the seven-year-old boy who humbled himself so that others could go first, Ann this day as she found that courage does not wear a red badge, the parents who received the news that their ten-year-old has A.L.L., the parents who placed their baby girl at the feet of Jesus and whispered, "we will see you a little later, beloved.", Emily as she chooses "to become living (blood-emotion-chromosome) sacrifice" ...

thankful for your sharing, thankful for your asking, thankful for the gift of you!

and i can't wait to read the book, too :)

Joan said...

The look on her face (Darlene's) says it all.

Leslie said...

"The ox was facing two things, an altar and a plough. The inscription read, 'Ready for either.' " Only by the grace of God, eh?

I've never read that book, but you make me want to. As for my heroes, Corrie ten Boom is one. My family is another. Heroes, for me, are ordinary people who are thrust into the troubles of this world and by grace, through faith, shine His light into the darkness.

My heroes don't necessarily accomplish anything great by man's standards. Maybe they just really love their families, day in, day out. A husband who faithfully loves his wife and children, steadfastly going off to an uninspiring job day after day, to provide for them. A mother who loves and nutures her children because she knows raising a child is the most important work she will ever do. A grown child who cares for an elderly parent with Alzheimer's. Heroes, all.

Misty said...

you also make me want to read the bio. when i was younger i only wanted fiction, but i'm learning as i'm older that the stories that make real people are the best stories of all! love your pen drawing. i'm jealous. ;) heroes.... i have to mull on this one.

Val said...

Nancy Wake

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Wake

Braddon, Russell. "Nancy Wake", Pan Books, London; Sydney, 1958.

Wandering On Purpose said...

I want to read this book now.
That quote - I want that to be my heart's desire, but somedays I feel like I am not ready for altar or plough.

amy said...

corrie ten boom has long been my number one hero, but i am beginning to find heroes in my everyday. my friend with 5 children whose husband died three years ago, my sister's friend who has been battling cancer since she was a child, and still is... the old man on the sidewalk who stops and salutes as a hearse with flags on it drives down the road (breathtaking), oh jodi, i'm beginning to see heroes everywhere!

praise God for those who are stepping out of the box, who are pressing on, who are standing firm.

thank you for introducing me to this book, i look forward to reading it!

Jodi said...

Val - I looked her up. What a fascinating woman. Thanks so much for the info. We really do stand on the shoulders of so many ordinary/extraordinary people who served us so well and to whom we a debt of thanks.

Jodi said...

Thanks, everyone. It's this type of dialogue that makes blogging so rewarding to me. I really appreciate what everyone has said, and hope to hear more.

Carrie Burtt said...

Jodi this is truly inspiring....one of my heroes has already been named by Amy...Corrie Ten Boom. :-)

Lisa notes... said...

I am SO not brave, too. I’ve just added this book to my “to be read” list because I definitely need examples of courage.

One of my heroes is my mom. She just passed away 3 weeks ago and I miss her terribly. She was always an example to me of serving without complaining. I have to work hard at it and still fail miserably.

Thanks for the inspiring post!

Val said...

If you get a chance to read the book Jodi it is a feel good read ..inspite of the dreadful sadness of events..she had/has a wicked sense of humour

Amy in Peru said...

that quote reminds me EXACTLY of what I've been ruminating over lately from 2 Sam24:24...

hmmmm.

I'm thinking I'm gonna come back to that quote again :)

amy in peru

Jodi said...

Val, I will read it. I've always enjoyed a wicked sense of humor ;)

alittlebitograce said...

i had forgotten about that book. my mother had it on her bookshelf, and i read it many times as a child. yes, i was a bit precocious when it came to reading. i should ask my mother if she still has it and re-read it. thank you for sharing that quote. i need to meditate on it.

Kim Hyland said...

My hero is my husband. My kids are too. Many others inspire me with their stories, but the people in my home are the ones who rescue me again and again from life's villains . . discouragement, fear, bitterness. That's why they're my heroes.

Treasures on GOD'S mountain said...

hi Jodi, Amy Carmichael is one of my heroes, another is Elizabeth Elliot, both Servants of CHRIST. I really enjoyed this 'Post'.....
THANK YOU...;O)

angelina said...

hey..i'll look this book up. i am looking for something good to start reading for my upcoming move/plane trips/ airport wait...
heroes, superwoman?

emily wierenga said...

wow. first of all, i love the conversation this has generated amongst imperfect prose participants :) you are so good at doing that jodi. secondly i LOVE the sketch. and the quote... i found i had to re-read it to fully understand, and then i quietly gasped. to be ready for either. i'm going to pray for this too. you bless me, sister. love to you. xo
ps. my hero has always been mother teresa. but that seems cliche... i will think on this.

Alexis Hallum said...

Ready for either. . .
I try really hard. REALLY, really hard. That is a quote to live by.
I'm going to look for that book the next time I'm at borders. :)

Melissa said...

Oh, I am not at all surprised to find that we share yet another kindred love! Evidence Not Seen had a profound impact on me as well. I had not read it until about a year ago, but was deeply impressed by Darlene's surrendered life. It does en*courage* me so much to read biographies of Christians who have persevered through suffering, by God's grace!! The 'picture' of a whole, real, consecrated life is so helpful to me as I plod along. Thank you for writing here, Jodi! The combination of peacefulness, art, and stimulating thought is just right. Blessings.

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