We Need Bismarck!

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking…

I have some sad news:  Bismarck is dead!  I’ve served six churches thus far in my ministry and thus I read the obituaries every morning to see if someone with whom I’ve been in ministry has made the great transition to our Father’s house (Please note I do not read the obits just to make sure my name is not there…I’m not that old, yet!) 

Bismarck is dead!  He was found shot to death.  Bismarck was a 15-foot crocodile located in a quaint seaside town of Cardwell located in Far North Queensland, Australia.  Bismarck had a rare mellow demeanor and was a much beloved town fixture for nearly 80 years.  He was so loved that the town had a memorial service for Bismarck last Saturday.

“He was seen as one of our community members,” said Thea Ormonde.  “He was just like the old guy in the community.  You know he’s there.  He doesn’t cause trouble or anything.  Every once in a while, you’d just see him.”  But what struck me was what Thea Ormonde said next; “Because he was such a gentle soul, he actually kept us safe.  He kept the angry crocodiles away.  You see Bismarck had an important role in the town—he protected residents and visitors from the ‘angry crocodiles’.

The church needs some ‘Bismarck’s’ these days.  We need some gentle souls to keep the angry souls in their proper place.  I’ve learned that being able to manage anger is not a natural gift for many.  And as a result, there are a lot of people walking around with ‘unresolved anger’ in their soul.  And it is my observation that in the matter of ‘unresolved anger’,” Birds of a feather flock together”.  Danger! Danger!

The Greek word often translated to mean ‘salvation’ in the Gospels is the same Greek work translated to mean ‘wholeness’.  In other words, salvation means wholeness or completeness.  And there have been places in me that needed saving from ‘unresolved anger’…maybe you too.

In between our hurt and salvation, though, we need to resurrect Bismarck.  Not literally, of course, but the church needs the mature to protect her from undue influence of the immature.  The church needs Bismarck keeping the angry crocodiles in their proper place.  Bismarck…a gentle soul (15-feet long and ‘crocodile looking’) but nevertheless…a gentle soul keeping us safe.  He kept the angry crocodiles from harming the community.

Jesus’ insightful words spoke of a ‘Bismarck type of maturity’ when he said “The eye is the lamp of the body.  So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness.  If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

We need Bismarck! 

Always Thinking,


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