What Kind of Bear Have You?
This past week was spent in Washington state, but my camera time while there was extremely limited. On the day of my arrival I was welcomed by an uncommonly clear, blue sky and wonderful views of the landscape dominated by Mt Baker. Unfortunately dusk was setting in before I had a opportunity to take out the camera, so I only got one mediocre shot of the dormant volcano.
I had high hopes for some additional photography time along the route home, but between the demands of work and my eagerness to get home, I didn’t make any scenic detours for that purpose. Nevertheless, with the help of Providence, I netted a couple opportunities that redeemed the effort of packing my gear on the trip. About halfway through the Idaho panhandle I often stop to stretch my legs at the Old Mission State Park, and yesterday I was greeted by young bull moose foraging through the flood plain of the Coeur d’Alene River as I meandered along the park road.
Well into western Montana, near the ranching community of Ovando, I spotted a Black Bear in the timber adjacent to the highway. A young couple in a pickup had stopped to shoot a few pictures, but they left shortly after I stopped. The bear did not seem to mind my presence, yet he was frequently spooked by passing vehicles as he made several failed attempts to cross the highway. Eventually he relented and wandered back in the deeper timber. Before doing so, he availed himself to about a half-hour private photo session, as no other passersby were sufficiently interested to stop and watch him. I can’t guess the age of this bear, but he was so large that I assume it to be mature. In terms of overall body and coat condition, this is certainly the best looking wild bear I’ve seen in my travels, which is likely a result of the mild winter and early spring forage this year.
There are a few Scriptural references to bears, but I am going to reference a different kind of bear that is mentioned in numerous chapters of the Bible. These “bears” come from a short illustration composed by M.R. DeHaan, the founder of RBC Ministries. RBC produces a variety of Christian educational resources, including Radio Bible Class and Our Daily Bread. These are a few members of the Bible family of bears:
The Yoke Bear (Lament. 3:27-28) It is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone and keep silent, Because God has laid it on him;
The Fruit Bear (John 15:8) By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
The Cross Bear (Luke 14:27) And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
The Witness Bear (John 15:27) And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.
The Weak Bear (Romans 15:1) We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
The Burden Bear (Galatians 6:2) Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
The Image Bear (1 Cor. 15:49) And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.
The Love Bear (1 Cor. 13:7) [Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.