I love the movie How to Train your Dragon. Its the story of a young Viking boy named Hiccup who doesn’t fit in with a culture where worth is measured in physical strength and dragon hides. He befriends a wounded dragon named Toothless and together, they show the world that true worth is found in love and that being different just might be beautiful.
Tonight I feel like Toothless. The world looks at me and sees ugly scales. I am dangerous. I wreak havoc. I remain a mystery and all that is known of me can be summed up in the five words: “Extremely dangerous…Kill on sight.” But right now? I am damaged. Your slings and arrows broke my flight and sent me tumbling down to earth. All my defenses are ruined. I am broken and defeated. My wings are ripped and I’m scared. A downed dragon is a dead dragon.
I’ll be honest. I’d rather do it on my own. At least before I was injured, I was self-sufficient. I may have been lonely and misunderstood, but I fought my own battles. No one could hold me back. I was a rock. An island unto myself. I was strong and I’d destroy anything that stood in my way. I didn’t need any help.
But now I’m stuck in this valley. I can’t fly. I can’t get away. I can’t save myself. My tail is broken and I’m grounded in this place. I can’t even feed myself. I keep crashing into these walls. Bruising my body and losing all hope. And I wonder what is going to happen to me.
Then a misfit chanced my way. Found my hiding place. And promised healing. He brought me fish, enough to feed 5000 or so, and plenty of wine. More important, he took the time to get to know me. He promised that things could be different. That I didn’t have to defend myself. That the world didn’t have to be “kill or be killed.” He showed me that not only could I trust his love, but I could trust you too.
And the world still isn’t perfect. Too many Vikings still want to kill dragons. Too many of us are still afraid of anything that is different. Too many of us value sameness instead of celebrating our individuality. Too many of us are still just “Extremely dangerous…kill on sight.”
I’m just a wounded dragon. But I think I could fly.