A lion inside

"Panthera leoP1040181" by Winfried Bruenken (Amrum) - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons -

“Panthera leo” by Winfried Bruenken (Amrum)
Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons

“I was the shyest human ever invented, but I had a lion inside me that wouldn’t shut up!”Ingrid Bergman

I want to thank Bob Mielke, who visits here often, for the inspiration behind this post.  If you’ve visited Bob’s blog, you have seen his amazing images, including the animal photos that are always a favorite with me.  When I saw his recent post with its wonderful photo of the papa lion and his cub, thought about how humans aren’t born knowing how to be brave, or to roar when a roar or two is needed.

A lot of times, people laugh when I talk about being a shy or scared person.  For some reason, I don’t usually come across that way.  But that’s only because my anger or indignation is almost always stronger than my fear, if I see something that doesn’t seem right or fair to me.  I guess there is a lion inside me, too.

I think most of us are the same way.  We don’t think of ourselves as courageous, but when things go wrong, we find a way to get through it.  But just as the baby lion in Bob’s photo shows, we often need a little help (or maybe a lot) from people who show us, by the way they live, how to be strong.  There’s nothing like watching the courage of a stawart person to help us learn to have faith and keep trying.

Next time you feel afraid, remember there is a lion in you, one that might surprise you with the strength of its roar.

One year ago yesterday:

He always stays



  1. HarryS

    “In each human heart are a tiger, a pig, an ass and a nightingale. Diversity of character is due to their unequal activity.”–Ambrose Bierce.

    Love the assertion that anger and Indignation may override fear!

    • Harry, I LOVE that quote! Today I’ll try to temper my tiger with the nightingale, and send the pig and ass off to watch Pit Boss on Animal Planet. Anger and indignation can override fear every time, and not always with good results – so we must pray for wisdom. Thanks for that memorable quote!

  2. Good morning Julia! I never learned to roar properly. We’re of Norwegian decent. (I use that excuse for everything, even contradictory characteristics! ) today I’m going to pay attention, and see of I can find a good roarer whom I can emulate. Politely, of course! They say “the squeaky wheel gets the grease,” but I’ll bet the roarers do, too – and the brand of oil requested!

    • Susan, here’s a video clip of one of my favorite “roars” of all time – positive proof that gentle strength can change history. Its funny to watch the transformation in the gruff senator at the end of this 7-minute clip. This is the kind of roaring I want to do.

  3. raynard

    Julia someone recently as to me” you have that Fighter spirit in you ” like Rocky”.. I had to explain to them about all the junk I’ve been through and ” I’m still standing”.If you ever followed the story of Rocky in his first 3 films and tell me” that theme music” doesnt get you pumped up. Tough times bring out the best in you and Tough times spreads like the flu and can be cured, right?.. God never says in the bible” do not get angry he says do not sin.. Controlled anger can motivate you for a positive reason..Why whine and complain about something you can have a part in to make better for many.. That’s where the love of God in you for people comes in to give you” a heart of compassion and sensitivity towards others hurting and suffering..Oh, when you get time, play around with Google Voice. My childhood friend’s sister in Texas was able to send me pictures thru there. And also on Yahoo messenger, I was able to send a friend music i have stored on my computer. My next project is trying to get all my photos together from all sources, my tablet, desktop, Ipod and smartphone. I think Google doesnt support their Picasa app much for pictures. I have 7 years worth of pictures on my desktop. Have to ” relearn and burn on to DVD’S be blessed

    • Raynard, I only ever saw the first two Rocky movies, but I loved them both, and also the songs. Of course when we went to Philadelphia we had to do the running up the steps scene at the museum! With the music playing in the background in our imagination. Yesterday I was wrestling with some anger and a wrote a post about the very theme you mention, that controlled anger can be good but we must be careful with it. There were so many good quotes that I used three, one of which comes right out of the Bible. Someday I would like to be Alice in Digiland and learn all these amazing tricks with the various online programs. If you find a good photo organizer, let me know. I used to like using Adobe Photoshop Elements but I don’t know if it’s still as good. I need something that will go over my hard drive, email etc. and pull all the photos together in one place, sorted by dates. I spent hours burning my photos to DVD only to find that the one I really needed will not open in any computer. What anguish, it had over 500 slides I had digitized using a borrowed Nikon scanner that I could never afford to buy in a million years. Hours and opportunity wasted. Now I am OCD and back things up 5 ways, probably overkill since this means I usually never get around to backing anything up at all! 😀

  4. Ann

    Julia, there’s an old saying that goes something like this ‘Never get in the way of a good woman on a righteous cause.’ Maybe that describes you when you’re advocating for Matt or someone/something you feel strongly about😊😊


    • Thanks Ann, I hope that is true. Sometimes it’s must more a case of “I ❤ MY ATTITUDE PROBLEM" as Maxine's mug says. But I am gradually learning to pick my battles. Good thing, since I seem to feel more tired by the day and sometimes by the hour!

  5. I love that quote! I love Ingrid Bergman! 🙂

    • That is a great quote, isn’t it? I need to go back and watch Autumn Sonata again. I thought she was fabulous in that movie, but it’s been so many years I have almost forgotten it. Aren’t we lucky that we can so easily access almost any movie or song we remember? Now if we could just find the TIME…

      • Actually, I have never seen that movie! 🙂 I’ll have to check it out!

        • Oh, do! And then if you like it, you might enjoy Woody Allen’s movie September, which reminded me of Autumn Sonata in lots of ways. As a caveat, these are the types of movies Jeff hates. Dark and moody, not optimistic or romantic in the least, but very impressive I think.

          • I plan to try and find it on Netflix. Maybe even the library! But I have never liked Woody Allen.

            • If you don’t like Woody Allen, you might not like Autumn Sonata much either, because Allen is such an Ingmar Bergman fanatic. Having said that, I think most people would tell you that Bergman was a more acclaimed director. But his movies are undeniably dark in tone. Don’t watch it when you are already feeling blue! Unless you find that sort of thing therapeutic.

              • Thanks for the heads up about that. In the past if I was feeling blue, I would put in a tear-jerker movie, but now I would put in a comedy. My husband is a happy fellow who loves comedies, so it’s even better when we watch them together. 🙂

                • I agree with you – when I’m feeling sad, I need to laugh! Thank goodness there are so many funny movies and videos to laugh at.

  6. C.S. Lewis uses the lion to represent Christ in: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”
    However, Christ is called the Lamb of God.

    Christ was a gentle as a lamb, as He healed and comforted the lame, ill, blind, sinners and the children and innocents. Yet, He was as fierce as a lion, toward those religious leaders, who misled their people; as well as those who used the temple at Passover, for their selfish gains; both being an afront to God.

    When He fulfilled His mission at Calvery, it was the nature of the lamb, that made not a sound, in accepting the sacrifice. But, it took the courage of a lion, to bear all that He bore, on that cross.

    • Alan, Proverbs 28:1 is a favorite verse for me. As you know, the lion Aslan in the Narnia books was both powerful and gentle, inspiring fear in some and great love in others.

      “Will the others see you too?” asked Lucy.
      “Certainly not at first,” said Aslan. “Later on, it depends.”
      “But they won’t believe me!” said Lucy.
      “It doesn’t matter.”
      ― C.S. Lewis

  7. Beth

    Your mother was an excellent example to me of kindness and strength. A roar delivered with a smile and a lift of her chin!

    • Oh, thank you Beth! I will be sure to tell Mama you said that. She will appreciate it and I do too. She’s still roaring (though with less volume nowadays) but she can still hold up her chin!

  8. I love your devotional blog today. It is just what I needed at this time. Have a beautiful day Julia, and know that you are dearly loved. I want to be courageous and loving in my actions. I too, love the Ingrid Bergmann quote.

    • Thank you Cherie! You keep on roaring on Ron’s behalf, and yours too. Just channel that inner lion(ess)!

  9. Sheila

    Julia, how nice that you shared Bob’s blog and his photographs with us today. The duck photos from yesterday are so beautiful, too. I suppose our courage truly is learned and my roar isn’t too often or too loud (or so it seems). I usually get my point across though. 🙂 Recently, I was so upset on the phone with a very demanding (rude) patient, but instead of roaring I turned on my best southern charm and totally confused him. He was pushing the “ROAR” button but I refused. You can’t imagine his description of me to management (Bill)!
    How can it be the end of July? Oh, new calendar porch tomorrow! 🙂

    • Sheila, remember that even the sweetest honey bee will sting if provoked! I already peeked at the calendar for August. It’s a good one for the hottest month of the year – an exotic homage to the sunniest part of the country (even sunnier than the south, with our shade trees and rainstorms). Get that watermelon cooling!

  10. Love this photo Julia! My roar has never been hard for me to access. It actually took me a few years to figure out how to use it properly, instead of overusing it!

    • Denise, I think the same could be said of me, at least for the past 30 years or so. Some things we can only learn from experience. 😀

  11. Michael

    In the midst of winter I have found within, one last invincible summer.”
    “Beware the anger of a gentle person.” Thoreau.

    • Michael, that first quote from Camus was the very first blog post I ever did on this blog, and was a sort of theme for me from the beginning. That quote from Thoreau reminds me of the verse I used in this post, and of Yamamoto’s supposed quote about awakening the sleeping giant after Pearl Harbor, a fear he definitely presaged even if he did not utter that exact phrase.

  12. Michael

    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll.
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.

    • Michael, “Invictus” is definitely an enormously popular poem. I might be wrong, but my impression is that more people have mentioned or quoted that poem than any other during the entire time I’ve been doing this blog. That speaks to its powerful inspiration, even for those of us who don’t take literally the phrase “whatever gods may be.” I always saw its words as a sort of determined striving for resolve, not that the author was literally claiming such valor; rather, he was aspiring to it. At least that’s how I have always read it.

  13. Michael

    Supposed to be a favorite of Nelson Mandela which helped to sustain his spirit during 27 year incarceration on Robyn Island. The movie of the same title is pretty interesting.
    And ” horror of the shade” is a grave?

    • I haven’t seen that movie, but I bet it would be interesting. I would assume that the “horror of the shade” refers to death.

  14. Michael

    Georgia governor said today-” Well if have the resources we should do what we can to help those people.” ( Ebola victims in Atlanta.) Well what else could he say? I guess it was not his idea in the first place. Did you ever see the movie-Outbreak? Kind of scary scenario. And in high school biology we studied the X factor-related to overpopulation.
    Watched Noah this weekend and it seemed to go on forever. It was very dark, troubling, humorless and heavy. The only one who I liked was the grandfather-Methuselah-played by Hopkins who does not get to go on the boat. What does that say about the value of us older folks in the scheme of things? No room on the Ark.

    • Michael, our son Matt and my older sister both had life-saving surgeries at Emory (about 40 years apart!) and our older son Drew has been a student there for eight years, so I think highly of Emory. I am pleased they are treating these patients, and also, situated adjacent to the CDC, it could not be a more appropriate location from a geographic standpoint. Since both infected patients were helping to treat illness in Africa through a Christian relief organization, it seems fitting that a University affiliated with the Methodist church would be there to help them when they became sick as a result of their compassionate actions for others. I never saw Outbreak but I did see The Andromeda Strain and that was scary enough!

      I don’t know whether I will go to see Noah. If I do, I’ll be looking on it as a creative adaptation that amounts to a fictional story. It might be fun to compare notes with the original “script” of the real thing, but I won’t take it too seriously. I do think it’s totally appropriate that it has a dark, troubling tone. Appealing animal pairs notwithstanding, it’s interesting that a story involving an atrocity that wiped out almost all the global population (humans and animals) somehow became a cutesy children’s nursery motif. People have long speculated whether Methuselah died in the flood, or just before it (based on the Genesis account and his age) – it’s an interesting question. Remember, though, we are ALL “spring chickens” compared to him! BTW one of the things we learned in library school is that most (if not all) cultures worldwide have a story of a great flood from early human history.

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