Saturday, November 1, 2014

No Heroes, No Capes, No Veils

No Heroes, No Capes, No Veils

 I treasure some special memories of my childhood.  I know it will shock you, but I loved to play!  G.I. Joes (not the little, wimpy ones), a Scat car (I even tied a wagon to it), BB Guns (to my Mom's surprise, I kept both of my eyes), model airplanes (Dad had as much fun as I did)...........but I have a confession.  At the age of 5 or 6 years, my favorite game was being Batman.  I never had a mask; just a cape, a towel or one of Mom's aprons, but that was enough.  Mom clipped it with a clothespin, but my younger sister, Karen (the evil villain), pulled my "cape" and it would pop off.  A superhero CANNOT lose his cape!!  Then it was back to Mom for two large safety pins and "Shazam!" - the wardrobe issue was fixed.  Batman was back!  Bam!  Pow!  Invincible again, a superhero must have his cape!

Our grandchildren, Ryland & Rance
Reflecting on this fun, I do see some truth in the pretending. We share a common flaw........we want to appear stronger than we are.  A hero is a person acclaimed for unusual deeds.  So we, as limited and broken individuals, create fictitious"super heroes," bestowing magical powers or strengths.  Humans have done this for years, in every culture, many years before comic books.  Many times we want to appear stronger than we are. But we also need to believe that there are others who have powers or strengths that we lack, and we will go so far as to create these characters to deal with our weaknesses and flaws.

The number one fear in a recent poll was speaking in public.  Number two on this list was the fear of death and dying.  Fears are real. If we try to maintain our images as heroes, we lose the chance to connect and form personal relationships with others through humility, honesty, and transparency of our fears and challenges.  My quote of the weekend on humility is from legendary Coach Robert Hughes.  Coach Hughes won 1333 high school games (a national record) and won five state championships, and now ESPN is creating a movie about his life. Hughes was interviewed and asked what it was like to be a basketball hero. The interviewer commented that people might see him in public and not know who he was, now retired, living his normal life, going to the grocery store.  Hughes' reply was, "If you gotta say who you is, you aint."  

Even Biblical heroes struggled with the desire to show no weakness.  Moses, a well known Biblical character,  has movies about his life, The Ten Commandments and Prince of Egypt. After Moses would meet with God, he was instructed to cover his face with a veil to protect Israelites from the shining of his face from standing in the presence of the glory of God.  The glory would then fade. In II Corinthians 1:13 (The Message) we learn:
"Unlike Moses, we have nothing to hide. Everything is out in the open with us. He wore a veil so the children of Israel wouldn’t notice that the glory was fading away—and they didn’t notice. They didn’t notice it then and they don’t notice it now, don’t notice that there’s nothing left behind that veil. " 
     Moses wanted to keep on wearing the veil, like a hero's cape, maybe to give the illusion of strength or to hide his fears and weaknesses. Sometimes, we do, too.
One month ago while doing blood work at Medical City, my stem cell team saw a drastic rise in my cancer blood markers.  A PET scan and bone marrow biopsy came back normal, but one week ago Chris noticed a knot at the base of my neck. So we returned to the doctor's office. After a biopsy, we received a call Wednesday evening, learning that the "monster" is back.  You can read about my last autologous transplant in previous blogs, but for now, the plan is extensive chemo and another transplant; this time an analogous with a matching donor.

On Thursday, there was an assembly at Whitewright High School.  The gathering was not regarding school safety, drugs, or campus issues.  Chris and I wanted to make sure that everyone, students and staff, knew that we have no capes or veils.  As their principal, I wanted my staff and students to know that this tough journey begins again for us. Everyone was extremely loving and supportive.

People in these tough conditions ask, "Why?"  There are no answers for us. However, there is our faith. We believe that just as important as student test scores, grades, and future plans........our students need to learn how to deal with inevitable adversity. As disciples of Christ, this is our calling.

We are are now at Medical City.  Please text or e-mail.  Please share this blog with others.  Please follow this blog to get updates. And above all, please pray. Pray for strength for the journey and courage to show weakness and vulnerability.  Pray for the students of Whitewright High School.  Pray for our four children and their spouses.  Pray for our parents, brothers and sisters.

Hold Fast!!   (II Timothy 1:13)

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Time with Tigers before leaving for hospital!  Hold Fast!


Chris Weaver said...

You say you're not a hero. But you are mine. I've never known another person as strong as you - and you inspire me to be better. I love you so much!

Lawanda Arterberry said...

Kevin & Chris….
Today let me reassure you that God knows right where you are, and He knows how to get you to where you need to be. Even when things don’t go the way you planned, His hand is on you. Do not be afraid. Trust that God is working behind the scenes on your behalf, and that He will lead you into the life of blessing that He has prepared for you.
Prayer for Today:
Father in heaven, I choose to trust in you. Even when things don’t go the way we planned, I know you are at work in our lives. Thank You, for Your perfect love which casts out all fear. I love you and surrender every area of my life to You in Jesus’ name. Amen.