When you're 6'6" it's pretty hard to blend into the crowd and this has it's obvious ups and downs (ho ho):
The strangest thing about being tall is (despite it being totally genetic and out of my control) people seem to chalk it up as some kind of personal achievement and congratulate me on my obvious efforts to become really long.
Strangers also seem to think that they have some sort of innate right to comment on my height and talk about me within ear shot.
Somewhere there is a photo of 8-12 South Americans at a Pearl Jam gig having their photo taken with the Giant Smiling European.
I am generally used to all of this, but the feeling of standing out, being different or new can still be unnerving even as I approach my 30's.
About 530 years B.C. When Daniel was around 15 years old his city Jerusalem, the capital of Israel was assaulted, besieged and conquered by Nebuchadnezzar. This was a man whose foreign policy made Tony Blair and George Bush look like the kind of people you'd take to Iran for a picnic.
Whilst in Babylon, Daniel and his fellow kidnapped, war-torn Israelites were effectively brainwashed: they were taught a new language and told to serve new god's, taught to think differently, dress differently, eat differently and forget everything they had been taught back home. They were even given new names... not too different to turning up for your first day as a year 7 or sitting your A Levels.
Despite everything being set against him and living with the people who massacred your people - Daniel nailed his colours to the mast choosing to stand out, not just as an Israelite but as a follower of God - even if it meant putting his neck on the line.
There is an overwhelming temptation to keep our heads down, keep our mouths shut and keep our faith private but when you live your life on mute, more concerned with blending in than standing out you lead a life of little to no impact or consequence.