We used to live in Paradise , California. It’s a beautiful place in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains, about an hour north of Sacramento.
Since the climate there is very warm during the summers and we were surrounded by canyons and forests, we shared our property with many strange critters.
Bears and mountain lions and coyotes invaded the residential areas at night so it wasn’t a good idea to take an evening stroll by yourself.
My daughter was in elementary school at the time and she loved to hunt and catch the small lizards that sunbathed on the backyard fence.
But there was one type of lizard she avoided: the alligator lizard.
This is a fearsome little creature, about a foot long, quick-moving, territorial and aggressive.
One of them came after me when I was taking a walk in my neighborhood. Mouth gaping wide, revealing rows of razor-sharp teeth, the thing rushed me and sent me scurrying for safety fifty yards up the road.
I don’t know if the lizard was really going to sink its teeth into my tender toes, or if it was just bluffing.
Would you have waited to see?
Bluffs are all around us, in the animal kingdom, in relationships with people, in international relations.
If I’d had solid boots on, I probably would have stood my ground with the alligator lizard.
But the little creature saw that my sandalled feet were vulnerable.
I hope we, as a country, learn that it is not good to present ourselves as vulnerable. I hope we “put on our boots” so the alligator lizards of the world don’t decide to take a bite!
“Discretion will protect you and knowledge will guard you.” (Proverbs 2:11 NIV Bible)