I do not remember the last superhero movie I watched. Partly because I struggle to follow all the Marvel and DC characters, but mostly because I have fallen asleep during many of the movies. Actually, Batman was the first movie I could not stay awake through.
Needless to say, I am not a superhero fan. I have never understood the phenomenon, so I was a little underwhelmed when I learned that this year’s Spring Sing theme was “Superheroes & Villains.” However, the more I thought about the theme, the more I realized I could think of it in a different context.
To commemorate this year’s Spring Sing theme, here are some people I consider heroes:
Ben Bradlee: Bradlee served as executive editor of The Washington Post from 1968-91. He worked with Katharine Graham to publish the Pentagon Papers, a secret history of the Vietnam War. The paper won 17 Pulitzer Prizes, including the Public Service award for Watergate coverage. He died in October 2014 at 93 years old. According to The Washington Post, “Mr. Bradlee’s tactics were also simple: ‘Hire people smarter than you are’ and encourage them to bloom. His energy and his mystique were infectious.”
Lottie Moon: I first learned about Charlotte Digges “Lottie” Moon during Dr. Shawn Daggett’s History of Missions class (everyone should take this class). Moon was a single missionary who served in China. When she left for the field, she was 32 years old and had just turned down a marriage proposal and a job. She gave herself completely to God, through plague, famine and war. Through this, she laid the foundation for the Chinese church, jumpstarting one of the fastest-growing Christian movements in the world, according to the International Missions Board.
D.L. Moody: Dwight L. Moody was an American evangelist in the late 19th century. He was born in Massachusetts in 1837. After his father died when he was 4 years old, leaving his mother to raise nine children, Moody acquired the equivalent of a fifth grade education. He became a Christian when he was 18 while working in Boston as a cobbler. He traveled the country preaching the gospel. Moody went on to write several Christians books and established the Northfield Seminary for Girls and Mount Hermon School for Boys, as well as the Chicago Evangelization Society (renamed Moody Bible Institute before his death), one of the first Bible colleges. I once heard James A. Harding was inspired by one of his sermons. Moody once said, “If this world is going to be reached, I am convinced that it must be done by men and women of average talent. After all, there are comparatively few people in this world who have great talents.”
Katie Davis: I first read Davis’ book, “Kisses from Katie,” in high school, and I had the honor to meet her last semester. Davis is the executive director of Amazima Ministries in Jinja, Uganda, and a full-time mom. She moved to Uganda after high school to serve as an English teacher then permanently moved there, adopting 13 girls. Her journey is messy, but her story is honest, and her willingness to follow God and her vulnerability are her two qualities I admire most.
Not all heroes have superpowers or movies made after them. I think the most amazing heroes are those that go unnoticed. These four people have helped change the world in some way. They all had their own personal struggles or “villains” to defeat, as all people do. I think this makes them a little more amazing, and a little more exciting for me to learn about than, say, Batman.