Vertically Challenged People

Pastor Dick Dickenson

I’m short—always have been short. I don’t have to convince people I’m short. Folks aren’t saying when they see me, “Umm, I wonder if that guy is short?” They just take one look and know I’m vertically challenged. Recently I felt taller after a friend at church asked me my height. I told him I was 5’8”(if I stand real straight after a month with my favorite chiropractor). His response to my confession was that he “didn’t know they stacked baloney that high!” I’ve never been called “that high” before! I enjoyed my March trip to Southeast Asia partly due to the fact that there, I’m fairly tall. I have photos to prove it!
But alas, I went to a Dickinson family reunion back east and everyone there was short. I was obviously with my tribe. I had an uncle we called “Shorty”. My mom is 4’8” and my dad has shrunk to 5’2”, so genetically, I had no chance of being tall. I was told growing up that if you drink coffee, it stunts your growth. I didn’t start drinking coffee til I was in my fifties living in Belgium. By then, I figured the die was cast. I think God thought it would be fun to give me two sons-in-law who are well over 6 feet tall. They are so tall, every picture we have of them with us has them awkwardly tilting their heads trying to be shorter and fit in the picture with me and my wife. I’m short—always have been short and by the looks of my father, I’m going to get SHORTER! I don’t have to sit down and give five reasons why I’m short; I’m just short. It’s obvious.
I’m also a follower of Jesus. It should be obvious. I shouldn’t have to convince people that I love Jesus. I shouldn't have to sit my neighbors down and give them five reasons why I’m a follower of Jesus. Folks shouldn’t be saying to themselves, “Umm, I wonder if Dick loves Jesus?” They should be able to take one look at my life and see there is something different about me. A different joy. I different peace. A different love. A different purpose. It should be obvious!
That’s what it means to be holy. To be so different people take notice. How important is it to live differently than the world, to not be conformed to it? (Romans 12.2) The Bible says, “ Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14 NLT) Basically, if we are no different than the world, God sees us as no different—and the future of those who reject God will be the same as those who claim to know Christ but knowingly conform to this world. Sobering words but true. My challenge to all you who claim Christ is to take a long hard look at your life. If it’s not obvious you know, love and follow Jesus, it’s not too late to decide to live for Him. You can still walk in loving obedience to what He wants. All it will take is a courageous decision, personal discipline to get your nose in the Book, knees on the ground and hands to the plow as well—as a great group of fellow followers of Jesus who will lovingly give you the “backhand of accountable.” Pastor Dick Dickenson is the Pastor at Colville Free Methodist Church and can be reached at