Sunday, January 2, 2011

Giants


It's late and I should really be in bed taking advantage of the rare commodity of good sleep, but my mind has been spinning with thoughts and I know if I don't get them written down, they'll continue to swirl around in my head keeping me awake anyway.

I find that the older I get and the more people I come to meet and know, the less different I think we are from each other. I think we have more commonalities than differences. Contrary to what a lot of people think, I think the percentage of jerks, insensitive, and hateful people is actually quite small. Most people, once you get to know them, are quite remarkable in their own right, regardless of their outer packaging. Once you get the chance to hear of people's life's stories and the obstacles they have had to overcome, you become in awe of their strength and resilience. That's one of the things I miss most about working at the hospital- meeting and talking to patients. Everyone has a story... everyone.

Many of these people, I would describe as remarkable, amazing, incredible, etc. Then there are those people who no matter how many adjectives you string together, words like this just don't cut it and I struggle to find the word that can do justice and adequately wrap itself around the person's character. Lately I have found myself using the word "giant" to describe these people.

A giant is someone who's inner spirit seems so much bigger than themselves, as though their little bodies can scarcely contain their potential, talents, and gifts. I think of them in the pre-existence and imagine them as having been generals and commanders in the Lord's army in the fight against Satan. They are people who are constantly teaching and inspiring those around them.

Yet these giants are often disguised in ordinary places and behind ordinary faces. Sometimes the giant within is apparent throughout their lives, possibly since childhood. But for some, the giant is revealed with age or in the face of adversity.

Giants, however, also seem to be given trials in their lives that match their inner stature. But it would be useless and unfair to give a world champion heavyweight lifter a 15 pound dumbbell to curl, wouldn't it? This is often the hardest part about knowing giants- seeing their struggles because they are so great.

Although there are many, many people that I hold my complete respect and admiration, there is only a small handful that I would refer to as giants.

The first person that I ever used the word giant to describe was my dad. Tonight I had over an hour long conversation with him on Skype, and as usual, came away feeling uplifted and with a determination to follow his example in being more Christ-like and loving. A very large giant dwells in a small-town, Idaho farmboy who has done remarkable things in his life.

Another person I can call a giant is my husband, Dennis. This is one person who I've always thought of as one of the Lord's right-hand men in the war against Satan, not only as as spiritual leader but as a skillful and tactical leader as well. Anyone who knows him well knows what I'm talking about and I don't need to explain any further.

Perhaps that explains why "The BFG" (The Big Friendly Giant) by Roald Dahl was one of my favorite books as a kid. Everyone needs a giant (or two, or three) in their life.

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