And identity matters. John Orgberg writes that many years ago He was walking in Newport Beach, a beach in Southern California, with two friends. The two of them were on staff together at a church, and one was an elder at the same church. They walked past a bar where a fight had been going on inside. The fight had spilled out into the street, just like in an old western. Several guys were beating up on another guy, and he was bleeding from the forehead. They knew they had to do something, so they went over to break up the fight. He says, “I don’t think we were very intimidating. [All we did was walk over and say,] "Hey, you guys, cut that out!" It didn’t do much good.
Then all of a sudden the brawlers looked at John and his friend with fear in their eyes. The guys who had been beating up on the one guy stopped and started to slink away. John didn’t know why until he turned and looked behind him. Out of the bar had come the biggest man he’d ever seen. The guy was something like six feet, seven inches, maybe 300 pounds, maybe 2 percent body fat. Just huge. John said he called him "Bubba" (not to his face, but afterwards, when we talked about him).
Bubba didn’t say a word. He just stood there and flexed. You could tell he was hoping they would try and have a go at him. “All of a sudden,” John say, “my attitude was transformed,” and I said to those guys, "You better not let us catch you coming around here again!" He says he was a different person because, now, he had great, big Bubba. He was unintimidated and ready to stand up. He was released from anxiety and fear. He was filled with boldness and confidence. He was ready to help somebody that needed helping. He was ready to serve where serving was required. Why? Because, he says, “I had a great, big Bubba. I was convinced that I was not alone. I was safe. If I were convinced that Bubba were with me 24 hours a day, I would have a fundamentally different approach to my life. If I knew Bubba was behind me all day long, you wouldn’t want to mess with me.