Photo by Danika Perkinson

Faith & Inspiration

By Charles Towne 

The bear was angry.

A four-hundred-pound male, he charged me for the fourth time, finally ending up within ten feet of me. I knew that at this distance, if he decided to attack, he could be on me in less time than it takes to blink. He raged at me, popping his jaw, cussing me out in bear language; at least that is what I think he was doing. He stood sideways to me in order to make himself appear larger as he slapped the ground and popped his jaw again. All of his movements were intended to let me know that he was about the biggest, baddest bear in those parts, and I believed him.

I stood there with my arms raised over my head to appear larger as I talked to him in as calm a voice as I could muster. (I am here to attest to the fact that it is not easy to appear calm when faced with such a situation!) Finally, with a little more moaning, threatening me with mayhem all the while, he turned his back and walked away, to disappear into the thick underbrush that surrounded me. I could hear him as he circled me out there in the scrub, and suddenly… all was silent.

It was only then that I started breathing again.

Contrary to the popular myth, bears don’t growl, but they can sure let you know when they are ticked off. It was one of those extraordinary times in my life when I really felt alive.  As a zoo director and breeder of big cats, as well as a wildlife photographer over the years, I have learned some things about myself, one of them being:

I have learned to face the danger.

In my early years I was a runner, but no longer. If I were to have turned my back and run away in the above situation, it would have invited attack, which just might not have been very good for my complexion, if you get my meaning.

When we are faced by big challenges, hard decisions – whether involving personal relationships, a large financial crisis, an issue involving your health, or anything important – it is always best to confront it head-on.

It is a fact that when we go before an all-powerful God in prayer we are in the presence of absolute power. In such a time, and in such a place, the infinite meets the finite. The bear, referenced above, could have killed me, but our friend, God, yearns to give us His friendship, and eternal life.

In times of great challenge, stand still my friend; don’t run. You are always in the presence of the living God. And unlike being with a fierce bear, with God, you are in the presence of fierce love. Deep, unending love that will be with you, and help you find a way through whatever you are facing.

An Outdoorsman’s Prayer

Dear Papa, Holy God, You are awesome in your power, merciful in your love, tender in your compassion, abundant in your grace, and generous in your mercy. How can it be that you love me with such an incredible love? Hold me close, wrap me in your love, embrace me and kiss away all of my hurts. You created me to be your forever friend and companion  and for this, I love you, my heavenly Daddy. In Jesus’ wonderful name I ask it, and for your goodness I praise you, Amen

Live fully,
Love openly,
And make a difference, today.


Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.

15 COMMENTS

  1. EdG, Yes my friend, a universal prayer, and more personally, a prayer of the human heart. We live in what I like to think of as, an environment of cooperation! Our challenge is addressing the root of the human problem, and that is imagining that we can solve all the so called human issues on our own. Boy! Have we messed up there haven’t we? We could go on and on, but for the moment it gives us pause to think doesn’t it? Bless you my brother, Chaz

  2. Awesome reminder that God is bigger than any challenge or problem that we face!!
    What a refreshing feeling that
    He’s “got our back” in every situation! I’m so grateful that when we face the problem, no matter how big or small, He’s
    right there next to us and promises to never leave us. Thank you, Lord!
    May we all live with strong faith.
    God bless you, Chuck!

  3. CSG, What an incredible God we serve, and only a fool or a larger FOOL, would say otherwise. Our God isn’t like our government when it bailed out Bernie and Freddie with nothing but fake money a few years back. What God does is backs up His word with the cattle on a thousand hills, and what He promises, He fulfills. Isn’t He good? Bless you, Chaz

  4. Faith tells us that we can face anything head-on as long as we believe that God is behind us. Not sure I would have had the composure you did in facing that bear but if I were to face such a situation a new pair of shorts would definitely be in order. Great story Chuck.

  5. Mike, I refuse to discuss the condition of my shorts after some of my escapades. One thing I am sure of is that Papa God is able to handle ALL of our difficulties! He is faithful, and an ever present help in our times of need. Blessings on you and yours always, Chaz

  6. Once again Charles, amazing, sobering and enjoyable story. More coming from You … All situations we have got consequences, so confront Them !!! That’s my Mom always told and taught me !!!
    But always Beside GOD … He is the OnE Who can help Us ALWAYS.
    Praise Papa GOD and praying for You my Little Bro and your procedure next week. You Will Be All RIGHT !!!

  7. Leo, my friend, I am pleased that you like the article. Facing a problem head on is always the best way isn’t it. Blessings my old pal, Chaz

  8. I have known you for pretty much my whole life (wink wink!)….and I have never seen you run from anything….I am glad that our Heavenly Father gave you a streak of courage that runs deep. It made me feel like there was nothing you could not do. I am even more grateful that it has softened over the years to reveal a man being polished in the beautiful likeness of His Father….keep on facing the challenges, my daddy…God is not finished with you yet!!!! Love, your daughter.

  9. Faithy, my dear little girl; what a joy you are! Thank God that He is our heavenly friend always. One of the few things that ever really scared me was you, my Pinky Doodle, I was always afraid that you would break while I held you! Daddy loves you my darling, Your papa always

  10. Charles, facing fearful situations is one of the dynamic challenges in the human mind. My first impression would have been to try climbing up a high tree and screaming for help. But I heard that bears also climb trees, or at least are intelligent enough to shake them. Wow, that was a time of great need and your knowledge kicked in. There is a Biblical saying ” My people are destroyed by lack of knowledge.” Another saying is, ” knowledge is power.” Both sayings are true. But understanding and knowing the Great Creator of the universe is the greatest protection from fearful events that we may encounter on this planet. The Lord God is able to give the one who calls on Him wisdom, strength, and endurance. Thanks for sharing this, our friend. Jimmie and Mignon

    • Jimmie and Mignon, Yes my dear friends bears climb trees! Black bears are much more adept at climbing trees than grizzlies but about the time you get a grizzly mad at you you will find out real quick just how fast mr. Grizz can climb a tree and ruin your day! God must enjoy bears cause I know I sure do! Bless you two love birds, Amen, Chaz

  11. My dear friend,
    This article truly reflects a recent conversation we just had about the current pandemic!! It is so important to confront our insecurities and zoom in on personal strengths right now. This is a powerful article. Thank you so much and keep writing ✍☺.

    • NH, you are so right! More often than not when we confront our terrors we find they are not near as terrible as first considered, there is a few little terrors that just might be an exception, but… Oh well, not even a grizzly bear want to chew on a tough old people person like yours truly! Love you all, Chaz

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