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Rusty Mullins: Facing the Bears/Bunnies of Life

Posted 3/11/18 at 07:50am. Column by Rusty Mullins.

For nine months, as I was waiting for my now wife to finish college so we could be wed, I worked in a law office as a paralegal. I didn’t mind the work, but I was glad that I did not have the desire to attend law school. While the work was not horrible, I could not imagine doing it every day for the rest of my life.

I worked in a local firm with two named partners. I was a directly paid assistant to Jeff (not his real name). Jeff worked a different kind of law than the rest of the firm, and he hired a few people to help with his cases; he paid us directly. Everybody else in the firm worked for Jay (also not his real name).

Jay was almost cartoonish in how he fit the stereotype of an intimidating lawyer/employer. He was overweight and not overly concerned with his outward appearance. He walked like a herd of buffalo approaching prey—never stealthy in his movements. He had a high, shrill voice that could project from one end of the office building to the other, and this was a sizable building. He was known for firing people on the spot and never looking back. For the people who worked directly for Jay, it was a good day when he was stuck in court.

While I didn’t have to worry about his moods or feeling his ire, I honestly felt sorry for the people who did work for Jay. He was a difficult person to say the very least.

I had the luxury of knowing him in another context. Two of my aunts worked as house cleaners for some of the prominent people of our community. Anna, the oldest of my Dad’s sisters, and Emma were pretty small, unintimidating women. Neither stood much over five feet tall and neither weighed much more than 100 pounds, if that.

They would tell Jay what they needed to properly clean his home and when he forgot or purchased the wrong thing, they would leave notes for him.

“Jay, I was unable to finish in the bathroom because you did not purchase what we asked about last week. I hope you will have it by Thursday when we return.”

Jay, the bear who was known for terrorizing the forest of his law firm, would call and profusely apologize for his mistake. He would be very timid and ask them to forgive him. So the bear, outside of his forest, was actually a bunny.

All of us face difficult people in our lives. What God calls us to do when we encounter them is to trust in him and live in peace. Deuteronomy 31: 6 says, “Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.”

God is bigger than any boogeyman we may face in life—even bears/bunnies like Jay.

Rev. Rusty Mullins is the senior pastor at New Highland Baptist Church in Mechanicsville, Virginia.

Rusty can be reached via email at rusty.mullins@newhighlandbaptist.org.