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Not Your Typical Hero (by Lou Gentry)

Image from Sue Whicker

On July 3rd, 2011 at 6pm, our church will present “A Tribute to America’s Heroes.”  This special program will honor some specific individuals from our church and community who are truly heroic.  To get us thinking about the heroes in our lives several of our blog authors are writing about their heroes.

To look upon her, my heroine was certainly atypical. Lena O’Neil was a woman in her late 60’s or early 70’s when I first met her years ago through a Sunday Class which Nadine and I had joined. It was a couples  class–age range, thirty to forty years–who all had children about the same age, except for this elderly widow. I couldn’t figure out what she was doing in the class even though I had heard her state, “Her place wasn’t with the old folks.” In retrospect, I now understand the Lord put her there for me.

At that time, my personal relationship with the Lord was essentially nonexistent. But for some reason Lena took an instant liking to me. After a few Sundays, she asked me if I had read any books on or was interested in the subject of eschatology. Not knowing what the word meant but not wanting to appear stupid, I replied that I was interested in the subject but hadn’t read a lot about it. That was all the opening she needed! She started supplying me with books, tapes, and inviting me to attend seminars on the subject with her. In turn, I was totally captivated with the subject, just as I had been with my introduction to philosophy in college. But a wonderful thing happened to me! Whereas philosophy had destroyed my faith, God used the study of eschatology to restore me to Him.

How did this restoration take place? First of all, in the study of Scripture. Initially, my studies were primarily limited to those passages which discussed the end-times. But then a second thing happened which had a major impact on my life. Lena introduced me to the teachings and ministry of Dr. D. James Kennedy. His teachings of apologetics caused me to expand my studies beyond that of eschatology. And, thirdly and most importantly, I finally came face to face with the reality that if I accepted what the Bible said about Jesus and really believed Jesus was Who He said He was, then I needed to be obedient to His teachings. In Luke 6:46, Jesus states, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not do what I say?” I sought forgiveness for my doubts, rededicated my life to Him, and made him Lord of my life. And once God knew I was serious about my new commitment, He revealed the true meaning of life to me–to glorify Him!

If the Lord had not sent Lena my way, I don’t know how my life would have turned out. I do know I would have missed a beautiful relationship with my Savior which I have enjoyed for many years. Lena has been in heaven for some time now, and I look forward to seeing my heroine once again.

Other ‘Heroes’ Posts: