”A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy's shoulders, to let him know the world hadn't ended.” –Batman
I have a lot of heroes. Esther. Daniel. William Tyndale. Colonel Francis Marion. George Washington. Harriet Tubman. Abraham Lincoln. Teddy Roosevelt. Sergeant Alvin York. Lieutenant Mike Murphy.
As you can see, many of these men and women are famous. Their names have been handed down (or will be) through the ages. They took a stand or fought against overwhelming odds and entered immortality.
My personal heroes, however, will probably never have that kind of fame. They labored away from the crowds, the TV cameras, and even the knowledge of many people. Their heroism is the kind of ordinary, every-day heroism that in some ways is the hardest heroism of all because of its ordinariness. Yet, I believe that such heroism truly shows the character of the person. And for this reason, my heroes are my mom and dad, Willie and Jeannie Estrada.
My parents were hippies. Their parents didn’t know the Lord. My dad was an avowed atheist. Yet from that unlikely beginning, God did a miracle and they both accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior a few months after I was born.
My parents aren’t perfect. They’d be the first to tell you that. My seven siblings and I saw first-hand their failings, their frustrations, and their imperfections. Yet, what hero is perfect? The Hollywood hero is someone who had a tragic background (Bruce Wayne, Peter Parker), or who has intense internal struggles (Dr. Bruce Banner), but who rises to heroism despite that. And such are my parents.
My parents will never be rich. My dad is a school teacher, my mom stayed home to homeschool all eight of us. They never complained. They never thought of themselves as disadvantaged. They taught us the value of hard work, of never giving up, of that cheerful, rugged, all-American optimism. They taught us how crucial it is that all Americans be involved in politics and civics and speaking out about important issues. I’ll never forget taking part in pro-life rallies, the March for Life, door to door campaigning, and other activities as a little five year old. Seeing my parents’ passion for politics and government sparked a passion in me that led to me becoming a lawyer who is involved in politics today.
And most importantly, I saw my parents’ deep reliance on God. Some of my earliest memories of my dad were him studying God’s word and kneeling at the edge of the sofa in prayer at 5 AM. I accepted Christ as my personal savior because of the mission work of my parents.
A true hero never stops being a hero. My parents are still working hard today. They’re still raising a bunch of my little siblings. I know they love me. I can go to them about things. They’re still the same fun-loving, energetic people who taught me to ride a bike and how to fish all those years ago.
You may never be as famous as Abraham Lincoln. You may not lead men in battle like Lieutenant Mike Murphy. But that doesn’t need to stop you from being a hero. Heroism, I believe, is the ability to stand up and make a difference wherever God puts you. So don’t wait. Be a hero today.