Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 2, 2000

Harold Keller / L’Observateur / August 2, 2000

Two weeks ago, I met a young man at a peer support group. He stood about6-feet-6-inches and weighed more than 300 pounds. An intimidatingphysical specimen if I ever saw one. I asked his name and he said,”Aguillard.” “What’s your first name?” I asked. “Aguillard is my firstname,” he answered, as though I should have known. “Don’t get mad,” Isaid, jokingly. “I don’t want to mess with you because you’re too big,” Iadded (just to get him to let his guard down). “You really are big,” Icontinued, “but I bet you’re nothing but a marshmallow at heart.” I caughthim by surprise and he just laughed good-heartedly. I then explained whatI meant about him being a marshmallow. “You get in trouble when you tryto be tough, but God wants you to be soft and gentle.” (I picked on himduring the group session and he loved every minute of it.)After the session, a few of us gathered around and my new friend sat next to me. “How are you doing?” I asked. “Pretty good,” he answered, smiling.”I like you,” he added. He then asked, “Do you know what the nameAguillard means?” “No, I really don’t,” I answered. “It means great eagle,”he proudly said.

He asked me if I could get him a Bible. I had an extra one in the car andgave it to him before I left.

Last week, I went to the same place for a group session and there he was, waiting for me. He gave me a hug with a big, welcoming smile. “How haveyou been, great eagle?” I asked, as the other men in the group laughed.

“Aguillard, speaking of eagles, that Bible I gave you last week has something in Isaiah 40:29-31 about eagles,” I said. I opened the Bible andread: “He gives strength to those who are tired. He gives power to those whoare weak. Even young people become worn out and get tired. Even the bestof them trip and fall. But those who trust in the Lord will receive newstrength. They will fly as high as eagles. They will run and not get tired.They will walk and not grow weak.””You see, Aguillard, God wants you to do justice to your name,” I said.

“It’s time you quit flying with the buzzards and start soaring with the eagles,” I challenged.

In fact, even if your name is not Aguillard, God wants us to be reminded of Isaiah 40:29-31.

HAROLD KELLER writes this column as part of his affiliation with the Get High on Life religious motivational group.

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