Paul: A Heroic Man of Faith

September 12, 2008
By Michael Block, Westfield, IN

You always hear tales about that “knight in shining armor” and his or her heroic adventures. But do you ever hear a tale about a squire and his adventures? Do you ever here of a squire’s heroism, of their deeds? No. The squire is present to serve the knight; to help him or her with their adventures and heroism. The squire is left in the shadow of the knight. This, however, is a different story. This is the story of a squire and his heroic deeds. This story is about Paul Lunsford, a squire-in-training, so to speak. Mr. Lunsford is actually training to be a permanent deacon in the Roman Catholic Church, one who will always serve and assist others. Mr. Lunsford is one to make sacrifices, one to be a leader and step up to help people, one to be courageous, yet one to also have struggles; nevertheless, he is a hero, not only to me, but to those who know him.

Paul Lunsford has sacrificed many things because of his training to be a deacon. However, Mr. Lunsford also sacrifices much of his time in running a teen Bible Study, which he’s been doing for twenty-seven years now. Among sacrificing time for Bible Study, Mr. Lunsford has had to sacrifice his dream not only of retirement, but of retirement in that home in Florida. And with no retirement comes working until death, and, again, no home in Florida. Mr. Lunsford has had to make sacrifices, but so did Odysseus. Odysseus had to sacrifice his time to fight in the Trojan War for ten years, then another ten years reaching home. He also had to sacrifice running to see his family once he reached Ithaca, a sacrifice that was as hard for him as not having that Florida home is for Mr. Lunsford. So, like Odysseus, Mr. Lunsford has had to make some heroic sacrifices of his time, talent, and dreams.

Paul Lunsford has a talent many wish they had: humor. Mr. Lunsford has a knack for being able to make people laugh. But does he just waste this talent? No, quite the contrary; he uses his humor to make light of hard subjects, such as funerals. He steps up and leads people, using his humor to help and to be someone to look to for guidance. Mr. Lunsford also incorporates his humor in the teen Bible Study he runs. “Mr. Lunsford is hilarious and makes us all have a good time,” comments Paul T, who attends Mr. Lunsford’s Bible Study. Odysseus too had a gift for humor, no doubt due to his quick wit and cleverness. So we could conclude that someone with a knack for humor is clever. I am not exactly sure if that would be the word I would use to describe Mr. Lunsford. Regardless, Mr. Lunsford uses his humor to help others and step into a leadership role.

Paul Lunsford is also a man of courage, as was Odysseus. Mr. Lunsford has the courage to use his humor to help others and step up and become a leader. However, Mr. Lunsford has the courage to follow what he believes he is being called to do. He believed he was getting called to a religious vocation when it started appearing seemingly everywhere to him. He found it during a vacation to Rome, in a note when he returned from that vacation, and when a friend called about it. So Mr. Lunsford courageously follows his heart without hesitation. He, like Odysseus, follows his gut and his God.

No hero is flawless. In the same way, Paul Lunsford has his flaws and struggles. But what would he struggle with? “Pride,” Mr. Lunsford responds without hesitation to such a question. Mr. Lunsford is not alone in his struggle with conquering his flaw of pride though. Odysseus himself struggled with pride too. Odysseus could not hold down his pride when leaving Polyphemus’s island; he bragged. Later, that bragging caused him much trouble. In that same way, Mr. Lunsford, though a hero he is, has trouble controlling his pride. He realizes that some pride is necessary, yet he sometimes finds himself with some excess pride. He is working on being humble about things and keeping his pride within check, as Odysseus most likely did.

Paul Lunsford is a hero to me, not only because of all his sacrifices, qualities, courage, or his flaws, but also because he is a man of faith. Not only that, he is a role model and someone I can look to when I need help. That is a hero to me: someone who is not afraid to stand up for what he believes. Someone who can step up and be a leader, even if they lead in a unique way. Someone who makes sacrifices on the behalf of others, myself included. And someone who is not perfect, to show me that no man is. Paul Lunsford is all this and more to me; he is my hero. “I have a pursuit of daily heroics. That heroic behavior is following Christ, who is my hero.”-Paul Lunsford.

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