What is a hero? Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines a hero as, “A Myth. Legend. A man (or woman) of great strength or courage…” Whom do you think of? Some might think of Superman or Gandalf. Others would say firefighters or policemen - anyone who risks their life to save someone else. My definition of a hero is someone who, even in the face of opposition, perseveres in the job God has laid out for them, continuing to trust in Him. One of the people I most admire is Harriet Tubman.
Harriet Tubman, born around 1820 on a Maryland plantation, started to work at five or six years of age somewhere on the plantation. From her earliest childhood, she was taught the Scriptures and to trust in God. She prayed constantly, even for the master who treated her so cruelly, and for freedom. She first showed her bravery at about the age of thirteen when she stepped in the path of a two-pound weight thrown by an overseer at another slave. Because of the traumatic blow to her head, she suffered from headaches and blackouts for the rest of her life, but she still persevered in her faith in God and hope in freedom.
Eventually, in 1849, when the plantation owner died and she was to be sold to the Deep South, she ran away to Pennsylvania. Harriet could have stayed safely in the North, but that was not the plan God had for her. The next year she went back for her sister and her sister’s children. During her lifetime, she made over eighteen trips to the South rescuing more than three hundred slaves including all her family. Even during the Civil War, Harriet was a nurse, spy, and scout, though she did not get a pension for more than thirty years.
|"Conductor" of the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman|
Why is Harriet Tubman, a poor, runaway slave, my hero? Throughout all her life, she did things for other people and not for herself. When Harriet Tubman died on March 10, 1913, of pneumonia, she was staying in a home for poor black people because she had no money for herself. In all the trips back to the South, she never lost a single person. Even when the price on her head increased to $30,000, she never once thought of quitting. Her faith in God and her perseverance against men with shotguns and hunting dogs is what inspires me to stand up for God no matter what happens. Who inspires you?