Friday Thoughts: Heroic Virtue, The Holy Face of Jesus


He had no majestic bearing to catch our eye,

no beauty to draw us to him.


—Isaiah 53:2


There is a great hero alive this very moment.

He’s running into a burning building to rescue a small child.

He’s chasing down a thief who nabbed a pocketbook from a helpless old lady.

He’s performing CPR on a middle-aged man in the midst of a heart attack.

He’s keeping diligent watch over the safety of a nation.

But there is no “burning building”, no “thief”, no “heart attack.” And the “nation” he watches over is his own home.

Oh, but there is crisis, there are certainly trials.

There are countless situations and scenarios that require heroic virtue.

For the child he rescues lives in a foreclosing home, the helpless old lady he aides is robbed by dementia, the middle-aged man he resuscitates is his own brother who desperately needs a sober ride home.

And “he”, our hero, is not just one man. He is several, and numerous, and he wears all kinds of different clothes.

And like that ultimate superhero, the one our childhood comic books ceaselessly proclaim, he spends most of his other waking hours in a job that appears rather mundane.

His “telephone booth”—where he quickly straps on his boots, belt, and cape—is often a tiny bathroom—into which he quietly enters and calmly closes the door, only to clasp his face and let out a silent cry. He sometimes even falls to his knees, begging God for strength. But he only has a minute.

He cant help but look in the mirror as he regains his composure and dries his face, preparing to head back into the arena. What he sees looks old and unfamiliar. That’s not the face of adolescent dreams.

And the door is opened and out walks our hero to save the scene.


Yet it was our pain that he bore,

our sufferings he endured.

We thought of him as stricken,

struck down by God and afflicted…


—Isaiah 53:4-5


—Howard Hain


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