In fifth grade, I stood 4 foot, 5 inches. One of my closest friends, Lorenda, grew well over 5 foot 7 inches. I spent nights at her home,we giggled together, played and even carpooled. I really loved spending time with her.
It was easy to forget she was the biggest girl in our school, because she was my friend. If other kids didn’t her, they might be intimidated.
The same could be said for Andre the Giant, pit bulls and bees.
Andre the Giant
He found the limelight as a wrestling superstar standing 7 feet tall and weighing 520 lbs. The mere mention of his name sent chills through his WWWF competitors. From 1971 through 1984, he remained undefeated. Today, he’s listed in the WWF Hall of Fame.
And yet, he’s also called the gentle giant. Across the internet, we find stories of how he loved to pay for dinner when he went to restaurants. People found him enchanting. In the bonus features found on The Princess Bride DVD, his costars share their admiration of the big guy. Robin Wright Penn told how he used his huge hand to help keep her warm on cold shooting days by placing it on top of her head like a hat.
You can read more stories of his gentleness on the official Andre the Giant website.
Want a dog with an intimidating reputation? The pit bull stands alone.
But there’s a soft and tender side to this maligned bully.
According to www.DogBreedInfo.com,”The American Pit Bull Terrier is a good-natured, amusing, extremely loyal and affectionate family pet, which is good with children and adults.”
People fear bees or bee stings for multiple reasons: pain, allergy, unpredictability, etc. For those
with a severe allergy, we’re talking life and death.
Stick one bee in a room, and you’ve found a great equalizer. Young and old, small or tall, skinny or muscled or fat, almost everyone jumps or
freaks out in some way if a bee lands on their arm.
But we need bees. If we want food, we want them and their pollen carrying legs working their hearts out daily.
Hundreds of plants need bee intervention to produce food. According to New Agriculturalist Online, “Bees pollinate about one-sixth of the world’s flowering plant species and some 400 of its agricultural plants.”
One of the owners of Bennett’s Honey Farm in Fillmore, Ca, Ann Bennett, shared with me how often they sting her. I felt shocked, but she confidently made me aware that it helped to build her immunity not just to stings but other things as well. It didn’t bother her a bit.
Like going to the doctor for our vaccinations, even the sting serves a value.
Because she enjoys her bees so much, located inside their little honey store sits a clear, glass panel exposing a real hive to any observational types. Visitors view the inner workings of the beehive with fascination. She knows that hive well and befriends it.
As a honey lover, I happily receive the gifts they give too.
What do these three have in common?
Reputation. The reasonable human being would feel fear if they found themselves face to face with any of those items listed above.
And yet, each of those items stands as a true friend to those who know them well. For the close friend,they bring joy, confidence, and beneficial return.
In the same way, I enjoyed being friends with Lorenda and forgot about the differences in our stature because of our friendship.
Why it matters
The same happens to lovers or fearers of God.
Some people who love God and have befriended Him have become so close to His beauty, they forget His power. Others catch glimpses of His power, but have no desire or understanding of how He longs to befriend them.
We see and know His power because of Bible verses like this:
“The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it.” Nahum 1:5
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…” Proverbs 1:7
But we see and know His kindness and love because of verses like this:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” 1 Corinthians 13:11
My choice today:
Embrace God as my friend, while recognizing and appreciating His strength.
What about you? Are you a lover or fearer of God? When you think about Him, what aspects of His character do you most embrace?