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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Heroes (03/08/04)

TITLE: George
By William Bateman


He seemed intimidating enough. I could tell he was a big man, even as he crouched over that small lawnmower tinkering with some mechanical gadget. "Got it!" he confidently announced as he stood to greet me. "Geez!" I thought, "This guy is huge!"

Such are the observations of a very young man going to work for the first time- brash but several inches in height shorter than the established national average.

"My name is George." as he extended his hand to me. Not only was George tall, his hands were huge too! One of his paws easily covered both of mine. And yet, he seemed so gentle in spirit.

Over the next several weeks, big ol' George took me under his wings and talked me through the many pitfalls and insecurities common for a teenage employee embarking on that long road of worldly pursuit.

He always spoke gently- almost fatherlike. "I have something to tell you young man." Each time George, my big new friend, said those words I listened more intently. He only used that phrase when he wanted to make particularly important point. I listened quietly as we walked along.

Something did not seem right to me- he was old but he was so big. He seemed almost bigger than life- kind of like a mountain of a man but I felt a foreboding. I strained to pay attention- a difficult task for a young "know-it-all."

"Son!" He never called me that before I thought. "I am dying. I have but a few weeks left." We both walked on in silence. Like a daisy bursting with color one day and disappearing the next- he was gone.

I met my first real-life hero those many years ago. He was a big man with big hands and a gentle heart. I looked at my own hands today- small compared to George's hands. They too, are beginning to show the tell-tale signs of aging. George would often say to me, "Give yourself away son and don't lose your heart for others!"

I got it! It is not the size of a man that makes him a hero- it's the size of his heart for others. George had the biggest heart I have ever seen.

I recall a bible verse that says, "So we make it our goal to please Him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad."

George must have gotten a hero's welcome!

Member Comments
Member Date
Sarah Balk Bond03/15/04
Good job! It's good to hear about how other people's lives impact others for good. A moving piece, keep it up!
Lynne Cox03/15/04
I sure did enjoy meeting George. I once knew an old lady who made an impact on me like that. Very good story.
Donna Anderson03/15/04
I had a picture of George in my head right away! Great work. :)
Linda Germain 03/16/04
Me too. Could almost see George!
Kenny Paul Clarkson03/17/04
George may have had no idea that he was making such an impact. And that makes me wonder: Are we aware of the impact we are having on others? Exceptionally written + wonderful story line = phenomenal reading. - KPC 1492@usa.com
Leticia Caroccio03/19/04
I was touched by your story. I knew a man, who recently passed away. He is the father figure I longed for all my life. The first thing that impressed me about him was his hands. They told the story of his life. Every line, every scar, every wrinkle wove a tale of who he was. But even more impressive was the size and depth of his heart. Besides my Lord, whom I only recently began to know, he was the most loving person I have ever met. We are truly blessed to have such a special person in our lives. Thank you.
Dave Wagner03/20/04
Heart-warming and encouraging. A very nice submission. Thanks for posting it.

>> He was a big man with big hands and a gentle heart.<<

That line is particularly effective.