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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Steady Hands


My wife likes farmer’s cheese. I don’t know why, it must be something to do with our heritage, but whenever I’m driving by any bigger city that has a European market, she asks me to stop in and get her some farmer’s cheese. I prefer feta, but that’s just personal preference.

Being the kind of husband who believes that little things matter, even something as inconsequential as farmer’s cheese, I went about twenty minutes out of my way, and pulled into the parking lot of a local international market.

As I was walking through the parking lot, I heard a commotion, and being one who believes that situational awareness can save your life, I started scanning the area to see where the noise was coming from.

I located the source of the noise, and by the looks of it two men had gotten into an argument, and it had gotten the point that one of them was punching the air, and bouncing up in the air, while the other stood there, relaxed, hands at his side, as though he had no care in the world.

I don’t know what the argument was about; I was perhaps three minutes too late, but it was obvious it had escalated. The shadow boxer now started to punch himself in the chest, trying to psyche himself up, yelling at the other man who was still standing passively, about putting up or shutting up.

Then something very odd happened. The shadow boxer’s friend grabbed him by the elbow and tried pulling him away. “Dude, let it go, trust me, let it go,” he was saying loud enough that I could hear him from three car lengths away.

The shadow boxer kept trying to pull away, but his friend was all the more insistent. “Let it go, man, I’m telling you.”

The two men were pretty much the same size give or take a few pounds, so I was more than a bit intrigued as to what had spooked the shadow boxer’s friend. All things being equal, the shadow boxer stood a fair chance of felling the other man, but his friend was acting as though he was about to get slaughtered.

At this point, the friend had gotten in between the two men and was staring his friend in the face, pushing against his chest, but the other man was still amped up and ready to rumble.

Finally, the friend said to the shadow boxer, “look at his hands, dude, his hands are steady. Look at his hands.”

It was true. The other man hadn’t moved, hadn’t flinched, hadn’t even balled up his fists. He didn’t have the jitters; he wasn’t shaky or sweating. He seemed like a man comfortable with violence, and could readily carry it out if he was forced to.

He wasn’t screaming, or punching the air, beating his chest, or hopping around, he was just standing, facing his opponent, both ready to defend himself, and walk away.

Most often it’s those who boast most that do the least. It’s those who beat their chests and make a fuss that turn tail and run when the rubber hits the road, and the dark day arrives.

Don’t tell the devil how dangerous or how lethal you are. Don’t boast of your accomplishments, or how many adversaries you’ve felled. Just stand your ground, have steady hands, and he will see you for what you are, and flee from you. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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