Sunday, June 29, 2008

Giants in the land

The giants are here! The legal height for giants is 6'7, so the Beve just hits that mark and his brothers, at 6'8 & 6'9, stretches over it. And they're standing in our rooms, taking up the oxygen. Or sitting with their legs stretched halfway across the carpet, so the dogs have to jump over them like it's all a complicated obstacle course. Now I like my brother-in-laws well enough, find them very amusing. And my father-in-law, as I've written, is one of a kind, but in our narrow-halled, narrow-bathroomed home, they can make a regular-sized person feel slightly claustrophobic. That's what comes of these giants all in the same airspace. I am not making this up.

I was thinking the other day about how Beve looks tall until he gets around his brothers. Then he looks downright small--short and almost petite (OK, not petite, but at least trim). And it occured to me that the reason the three of them stand in a room around rather than sit when they get together is that they don't often have the privilege of looking eye to eye with people when they have conversations, so they take advantage of it. Most of their lives, they get cricks in their necks from staring down at people. I should know--I have a couple of bulging discs myself from the two and a half decades of conversing with a husband 13 inches taller than me. (And just think--these men would be considered small if you put them on a basketball court with the typical NBA team! Sometimes Beve says, "6'11--that's really tall. A lot taller than 6'7." He has no idea what the world looks like from where I stand. Why, even 6' would be tall to me!)

This week we're housing R Sr and R Jr, which means we'll eat a lot, hear a whole lot of stories, a few Burma Shaves, and talk about all kinds of sports. Jr lives in Finland, so he's converted from being a hoops fan to a hockey fan over the last couple of decades. It's okay, we like him anyway! J will hang out with his Uncle R, and we'll hear "Bar Mitzvah!" ring through the house, because for some inexplicable reason, that's the nickname R gave our son many years ago, and continues to call him. Uncle R and J have private jokes, books they both like, go places together and when R boards the plane back to Helsinki, J will say, shaking his head with a smile, "Uncle R--I sure love him."

These giants. They have hearts as big as their hands. That's true, you know. You put your two fists together, and you can see how large a person's heart is. I'm telling you, these men have huge hands--and their hearts match. They'd do anything for family or even total strangers. It's what they're made of--these men who love God, and love the people God loves, who serve without thought to cost, who live with integrity, as their giant father taught them. Giants among men in every way, I think that's what they are.

The land of giants--it's a good place to dwell for a week.

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