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I Could be a Bear

I Could be a Bear

When you’re a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could totally do that.

Before you hibernate, you’re supposed to eat yourself stupid. I could totally do that too.

When you’re a girl bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts, the big ones are about a pound) while you’re sleeping and wake to partially grown, cute, cuddly cubs. I could definitely deal with that.

If you’re a momma bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who messes with your cubs, and if your cubs get out of line you swat them too. I could deal with that.

If you’re a bear, your mate expects you to wake up growling. He expects that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat. Yep, I’d make a good bear.

Now, I’d like to take credit for all this cuteness and wonderful comparisons to nature, but I can’t. I heard it first a few years ago from my Bible Study Fellowship leader in Denison. She said she usually looks for things to make people laugh that go along with the study materials for the day. “I’m just going to tell you up front,” she said. “I’m telling you this one just because I think it’s so cute.” She said it had been sent to her in an e-mail, and while she normally doesn’t forward or pay a lot of attention to them, she did read this one and loved it.

I loved it too. Enough so that I took the time to investigate the life of the American Black Bear (Ursus Americanus). It’s true about childbirth during sleep. The little cubs nurse from their sleeping mom and find their warmth from her body while they grow their own fur.

It’s merely one more piece of evidence that our universe has been planned in every detail by a higher being. Bears don’t experience bone loss during those long periods of inactivity and they also don’t take bathroom breaks during their months of sleep.

Scientists are puzzled by these two features. Research has led to isolating a chemical in the bear’s blood that may prevent bone loss and could ultimately lend itself to treating human osteoporosis.

And that information makes me think of the people we see on television and read about in newspapers and books who claim everything in the world is here by accident. They tell us all of our genes and cells have just fallen together by accident and still line up in a way that allows bear cubs to be born during their mother’s hibernation, while getting the care and nutrients they need almost automatically.

I always wonder how it is they can’t see God in our creation story. That’s more of a mystery to me than anything else. The bumblebee flies against all the laws of aerodynamics we know yet it works for them the way they were created. Have you ever thought about how a woodpecker keeps from pounding his brain to mush while he bores into wood structures with his beak, pounding over and over? It’s because of the way they were created. There are a lot of similar stories behind mysteries of creation.

I don’t go to the BSF in Denison any longer because of logistics. Now I go to the Celina-Prosper Day Women’s class in Celina and love it.

Yep, I could be a bear and would probably like it. But God made me a woman, and one thing I’ve learned in my 70 years is that God has a plan for me (Jeremiah 29:11). Accepting that is far more rewarding than anything I could design for myself.

I’m happy to be how God made me — even though I still want to be thin again.

Joyce Godwin is an award-winning photographer and journalist and a contributing writer for the Prosper Times. She may be reached at

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