Banna quotes 2The question I will live with for the rest of my life is;  “If Farah was the only clothing company going that made a pair of pants with a 28in waist and a 34in length in 1968. Why did they choose to make the one pair they shipped to Michigan bright yellow corduroys?” When you are six foot five in seventh grade and only weigh 125lbs you already look like a freak. Now add that only pair of pants to my name was those bright yellow corduroys.  Yes, my mom shopped till she dropped to find me another pair of pants, but bright yellow it was and no not just yellow, but corduroys so if they couldn’t see me coming, they could hear me.

david-sipress-a-prisoner-is-seen-stretching-on-a-torture-rack-next-to-an-anxious-looking-new-yorker-cartoonI think my growth hormones felt the need to keep up with my school grade level so from the 5th grade to the 6th I went from a “five footer” to a “six footer” and by basketball season another five inches to go with it. So while some were experience growing pains mine were more like growing tormented anguish. I was sure that someone was secretly torturing me with a hidden rack in my bed.

Like any giant a host of nick names fit the bill and I was always good for a weather forecast, bean stringing, and Ho, Ho, Ho, green giant. “Whistle Britches”, which Dole_Bobby-Bananawas a bit more painful but always good for a laugh, however nothing could be worse than the dreaded “banana pants”.  I was forever branded as un-a-peeling, as the cruel would “Dole” out their insults.

To make me even a bit more bizarre most folks my height have long feet in order to have balance, but God certainly had a sense of humor in my design, I have normal size feet so as to trip and fall at the drop of a hat. So with my new found giant-ness, here I came, pants a whistling, and feet a tripping making my way through Perry Junior high, quite a sight and yes if I fell just right you might see the banana splits, (if I didn’t say it you would still have thought it, right).


My height dilemma wasn’t just limited to my appearance. At my first dance, a child of the 60’s I was hey-jude-full-singlea Beetle fan so when “Hey Jude” started playing, I asked a girl I was “sweet on” to dance. In review I had missed two major pitfalls, number one she was about four foot four and “Hey Jude” was a slow dance. Number two it was the longest single of the decade, seven minutes and eleven seconds and believe me I felt every one of those four hundred and thirty two seconds in utter awkward hunch backed fashion.


At an age where appearance is becoming extremely important, I was shot at and hit. Quite convinced I was no ones prince charming, destined to spend the rest of my life with no female companionship. Oh, I got along with the guys alright; I was on the football and basketball teams tripping my way to that form of popularity, but I hated the way I looked and was sure that no girl would ever want to be seen with me. Who could ever love this “banana the pants whistler”?


At this point in writing this I asked Jesus why you made me this way. I really don’t feel any pain associated with it anymore, just laughter at the humor of it. Yet I asked and prayed throughout the night and this morning listening for Jesus to give me some clarity, Jesus blessed me out of my socks; I really can’t stop crying at His answer. “Robby, I knew you were going to need to know how to fall from great heights well.”

 The banana pants, I asked, “I was teaching you to turn scorn into joy.” Jesus answered.

This is the kind of perspective, love, healing and deep intimacy only Jesus can illuminate within the darkness of my past wounds.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

So come join me in the following stories where in many I tripped or fell so that we may boast in our weakness, as in doing so I believe we will witness, “The Light”, “The Life” that will be a beacon for all to follow to FREEDOM. 

I love to laugh and I love to cry, so I do my best to make sure I get to do plenty of that in each chapter for as many times as I have told these stories they still bring the joy and the tears or they don’t bring me life. How fun to share my life with you and all the time knowing that as you see God’s work in me, His power will brighten us both.

Most of all my hope is that you too will hear His loving voice and see Jesus as in Song of Songs chapter 2, my favorite verses.

Listen! My beloved!
Look! Here he comes,
leaping across the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.
Look! There he stands behind our wall,
gazing through the windows,
peering through the lattice.