Heroes have been much on my mind today; maybe because yesterday I read Hebrews 11, “the faith chapter.” This discusses some of the heroes of the Bible–Abel, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and many more. Their heroic actions, famous and well-remembered, were of all different kinds. But they had one thing in common: they were all done “by faith.”
I keep this in mind when I write my books. The plot calls for many heroic acts, to be performed by many characters. And they are all performed “by faith.” Because these are not superhuman, not silly superheroes: but ordinary people, men and women, boys and girls, who do what must be done because they believe God’s word and try their best to obey. Without faith, they couldn’t do these things.
But there is another kind of heroism, also by faith, but not very often recognized. Writers especially almost never get to know how readers are affected by their writings; but then that’s true for all of us. You may have done something that produced great good for someone else without your knowing it; even without that other person realizing it was you. Our actions and our words spread out like ripples on a pond, and we have no way of knowing whom or what those ripples touch, with what effect.
So we carry on by faith. We try to do what’s right. We try to please God. There are acts of goodness that we do on purpose, but also acts we don’t do with any expectation of good. God can use our actions and our words in unexpected ways, ways that would surprise us if we ever saw the result.
It would be good for us to keep this in mind. We might never have an opportunity to save a life, but we can touch a life. Only God sees everything. We can’t; we have to proceed by faith–“the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Verse 1).
When the Book of Life is opened, there will be surprises in it.