Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Place for Heroes

I've talked about this before, many months ago, but Greg Mortenson is one of my heroes. I'm not sure of all the reasons that I feel drawn to his message. I think it is a combination of factors.

Most of all, is that he has a heart for the same people which I do. We've also traveled in of the very same towns in Pakistan, once a week apart. He was a mountain climber . . . I'm an armchair mountain climber. He worked in medicine as do I.

But there is something else about his message, which draws me. I think it his desire to bring justice to those who have the least measure of it . . . little girls in the strict, pro-Taliban culture. When I look at the photo, I see his big, sincere grin when he is surrounded by the little kids. I feel the same way. My heart becomes like clay, or lime Jello in the hands of the kids in want.

I look to him as a hero because I traveled in the same area of Pakistan as he did, I saw the same needs . . . yet I was impotent to do anything . . . while he, alone, changed their world.

Getting to know him, through his books (Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools) I feel I know his spirit and it is humble.

Well, I got to meet my hero in person Thursday night. Yeah, I met him . . . along with 2500 other people. He told the same stories, which I discovered through his books. But he still inspired me.

This brings me to the issue of heroes. I know that Dick Keyes (leader of LAbri in the Harvard area) did several talks on heroes and even wrote a book about it (which I've never read). But Greg is in that zone that it would be really hard to call him a Christian, yet he is certainly doing God's work. By his own admission, he has drifted from being a missionary kid in Tanzania to being a man who still believes in God, but whom believes that all religious roads leads to the parking lot. Will Greg Mortenson be in heaven, or in the new earth? Somehow I wouldn't be surprised if he is.

This thought brings me to the next one. Today, one of the passages the pastor read was in Mark

38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”

39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us. 41 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.

I know I'm sounding liberal here. I mean the old Mike wouldn't hesitate to say, that if Greg Mortenson doesn't confess that Jesus is the only way to Heaven, then he will surely burn in hell for all of eternity. Now, I certainly still believe that Jesus is the one and only man-hybrid with the Godhead, wholly man, holy God. That he is the only one who came and brought us reconciliation. Yet, like the problem of evil . . . is the problem of good. I somehow believe that Greg will be saved through Christ.

Now, the old Mike would be red-faced at this point. He would have said, we are not saved by good works, we are saved by faith. So even if Mother Teresa didn't ascribe to the full apostle's creed, then she too will be kindling for the everlasting flames.

But still somehow these heroes are working from a place in their hearts that makes me know that God is there. I mean, Greg wouldn't be who he is if it had not been for the Christian influence of his missionary parents.

I can't get my head around it. But maybe in another dimension this all makes sense.


Recovering Alumni said...

Might I suggest the book "Hope Beyond Hell" - it gave me a glimpse of the harmony of Scripture and God's nature with reference to everyone's eternal destiny...

Anonymous said...

"Old Mike" sounds like he wouldn't be out-of-place in the Moonies or X-Treme Islam.