You remember those moments? The ones where a superhero makes you hold your breath. When Barry Allen, in Flashpoint, gets up and starts running even though there’s a huge spike jammed through his quads. When Peter Parker, at the end of the Ultimate Spiderman comic series, bows down before the spectres of all the enemies he’s ever faced, and gets up to keep fighting. Those moments when everything is broken, but the hero doesn’t give up.
Those moments…that make us want to become superheroes.
“For you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” It’s a line from a historic letter written to a persecuted people group who’d lost their property and become second-class citizens because of their minority status. They’d lost friends, jobs, community…a lot of the things that help define our identities as human beings. Yet, the writer tells them not to give up, not to bow down to temptation, even though they’ve lost so much, because they’re still alive. “You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” As long as you’re alive, you’re not allowed to give up.
Do we really help others to the point of shedding our blood? Do we even help others to the point of “ああ, this is a minor inconvenience”?
If you want to become a superhero, you’re going to have to push far beyond the normal boundaries of convenient for others, into what becomes painful.
You’re going to have to stop giving up.