What does a hero look like? In comic books, they wear a mask or a cape. In real life, they’re not so easy to spot.
Like William Crawford. For years, he worked as a janitor at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. To the cadets, he was a shy, unassuming worker who quietly went about his cleaning duties around the squadron. But one day, a cadet who was studying World War II read an incredible story about a soldier who risked his life in battle to save dozens of fellow soldiers. The man later spent 19 months as a German prisoner of war and was awarded the Medal of Honor, our nation’s highest military honor, for his sacrifice. The story also included a photograph of William Crawford – a man who looked remarkably similar to the squadron janitor.
The next day, the cadet approached the man and asked if he was Medal of Honor recipient, William Crawford. The quiet janitor replied simply, “Yep, that’s me,” then kept right on sweeping.
Very few people saw a hero in William Crawford as he pushed his broom around. With a mere glance, everyone thought they knew all there was to know. Instead, hidden beneath the exterior of a humble janitor was a true American hero living quietly after years of heroic sacrifice and service.
To see a person’s true worth, we must look beyond their profession, the car they drive, or the clothes they wear and see more deeply.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart’” (1 Samuel 16:7).