“Touchdown! He saved the day!” Chris’s big brother, Evan, whooped as he jumped up from the couch and turned off the television. “Did you ever see such a great player?” Evan asked Dad.
“Not that I recall.” Dad smiled. “He’s quite a hero.”
“I’m going to put his picture on my wall,” Evan said as he headed up to his room.
Chris helped Dad pick up the popcorn bowls and take them to the kitchen. “Why did you say he’s a hero, Dad?” Chris asked. “He didn’t save someone’s life or anything like that.”
“No, he didn’t,” Dad said as he put the bowls into the dishwasher. “I guess I called him a hero because he did something important to help his team. He did something the other players couldn’t do. That’s what makes a hero.”
Just then Chris’s mom came into the kitchen, carrying a big bag of groceries.
“Let me help you with that,” Chris’s dad said and took the bag from her arms.
“Thanks.” Mom smiled. “Just in time—I was about to drop it. My hero!” she said, kissing Dad gently on the cheek.
Chris looked at Dad. “You’re a hero, too?”
“I guess so.” Dad grinned.
“Mom,” Chris’s big sister, Julie, yelled as she came into the kitchen. “Did you remember to get the ingredients I need?”
“Right here.” Mom pulled some items from the sack.
“Thanks, Mom,” Julie sighed. “You’re a lifesaver!”
“A lifesaver?” Chris mused. “Does that mean Mom’s your hero, Julie?”
Julie shrugged. “You could say that.”
“Wow—two heroes in one room!”
“I don’t know about two heroes, but there are definitely too many people in the kitchen,” Julie said. “Everyone out. I need to make cupcakes for a service project.”
Chris wandered up to the bedroom he shared with Evan. Evan was sitting on his bed, reading a magazine. On the wall behind him was a picture of the football player who had made the winning touchdown.
Chris went through his desk and found a photograph of his family. He studied it a while, then asked, “Evan, have you ever done something for someone that he couldn’t do for himself?”
Evan looked up from his magazine. “I guess so.”
“Well, I shovel Mrs. Bates’s driveway when it snows. She can’t do that for herself.”
“Good. That makes you a hero.”
“A hero? I’m no hero.”
“You are to Mrs. Bates.”
A slow smile spread across Evan’s face. “Yeah. I guess maybe you’re right.” He went back to reading his magazine.
Chris put the family photo into his pocket and went down to the kitchen, where Julie was measuring ingredients into a bowl. Chris sat at the table and watched her work.
“I suppose you want to lick the bowl,” Julie said.
“No. I’m just watching.” Chris watched Julie in silence while she beat the batter and poured it into cupcake pans. After she put them into the oven, he asked, “Who are you making the cupcakes for?”
“We’re celebrating birthdays with the ladies at the nursing home tonight.”
“Can’t the ladies make their own cupcakes?”
“No. They don’t have kitchens in their rooms.”
“Oh. Did you know that that makes you their hero?”
Julie smiled. “Sure. I’m rescuing them from cakeless birthdays.” She untied her apron and whipped it around her neck to her back. “Here I come to save the day!” she yelled. She pretended to fly as she ran out of the room, her apron fluttering out behind her.
Chris laughed. He went back to his room and tacked the family photo to the wall above his bed. He stood back and looked at it. Everyone in the picture was a hero: Dad, Mom, Evan, Julie. Even their dog, Misty, saved the family garden by chasing rabbits out of the yard in the summer. Chris sighed. He wanted to be a hero, too, but what could he do?
Just then Chris heard someone calling his name. He went to the top of the stairs and saw his dad standing at the front door. “Hey, Chris,” Dad said, “want to go on a rescue mission with me? Your mom forgot to get milk at the store and needs someone to get it while she fixes dinner.”
“Sure,” Chris said. This was his chance to do something for someone who couldn’t do it for herself. This was his chance to be a hero.
As they drove to the store, Chris told his Dad about the photo on his wall. “Did you know that we have a house full of heroes?” Chris asked.
“Now that you mention it, I guess we do. But do you know why we have a house full of heroes?”
“No.” Chris frowned. “Why?”
“Because we are all trying to be like the greatest hero of all. Actually, the person I’m talking about was much more than a hero. He did something to save everyone in the world. He atoned for our sins and was resurrected, making it possible for us to return to our heavenly home. That is something that we could never do for ourselves. And He was the only one who could do it for us. Do you know who that was?”
Chris thought about this for a minute. “Do you have a picture of Jesus, Dad?” he asked. “I’d like to put it on my wall next to our family photo.”