HEARTLIGHTSingle... Not Alone







The Crazy Things We Do For Love
by Cary Branscum

    Have you seen Patch Adams yet? It’s a movie starring Robin Williams in the title role. The film is about a single medical student who wants to help patients. That’s not the angle of the movie, though. You see, Patch wants to not only treat the illness, he wants to treat the patient, often through laughter. Patch does some crazy stunts that really shake up the medical establishment. (Beware, there are some unnecessary scenes toward the “end,” no pun intended, of the movie.)

    Robin Williams is just plain fun to watch, and I always feel a little exhausted after watching anything with him in it! He’s crazy and off the wall, and his love for life and people often shows through.

    The movie got me thinking. What are some of the crazy things we do for love? We may sit through a movie we hate and tell our date we “loved” it. We may wear a hat made out of Styrofoam to church, because one of our children made it. We may splash on some DEET bug repellant we received from a smiling son or daughter who thought they were purchasing aftershave for our birthday. We may eat one more piece of pie because mom stayed up late last night to make it because “it’s your favorite.”

    Why do we do these crazy things? Because love is the most powerful thing in our experience. How do I know? Because God made us that way, and then sent Jesus to show us just how powerful love is. Not even death can stop love. Not even death can hold love back. Jesus loved us right into and OUT OF the grave, and He loves us still! That’s the miracle and power of love.

    As a single person, I ask you to do this: take a piece of paper and list the people/places/things you love. Then, list all the things you do each day, all the activities in your life.

    Are the two lists connected? The more your life centers on what you love, the better off you’ll be, especially when the Lord and his people are the center of that love.

    What’s the craziest thing I’ve ever done for love?

    My wife and I have a 16 year old son who is severely developmentally delayed. He’s not autistic, but he’s a little like Dustin Hoffman in “Rainman,” another great movie. At the same time, he’s the light of our lives, and we enjoy each day with him. Our son has this problem; when we pull into the driveway after a morning at church, he sometimes screams when we ask him to get out of the car and go into the house. It’s not a huge problem, but when it’s 100 degrees outside, you don’t want your child to have heatstroke.

    Sure enough, one Sunday morning we pulled into our driveway, and he didn’t want to get out. For years, he has loved the Baby Bop plush toy character from the Barney series. We play a sort of Simon Says with Baby Bop. We would often say, “Hey buddy, Baby Bop wants you to go in the house,” and Tim, with a ragged grin would go in the house. It didn’t work on this particular day. Nothing worked, and it was 100 degrees in the driveway. I HAD to come up with something short of dragging him kicking and screaming into the house.

    So I did something crazy.

    Our vehicle sat in the driveway facing the closed garage door. I grabbed the Baby Bop plush toy, and the garage door opener, and went into the house. Once inside, I entered the garage. Looking through the top windows in the garage door, I could see Tim sitting in the front seat, stiff as a board, refusing to budge. I found a knife, and some fishing line on the shelf in the garage. Pulling down the attic access stairs, I took Baby Bop, the knife, and the fishing line into the attic. “Straddling” the attic access door, and with the garage door opener in my mouth, I attached a few yards of fishing line to Baby Bop’s head and feet. The result of this bizarre activity was the transformation of a plush toy into a marionette puppet. With the fishing line puppet strings in hand, I bit down on the garage door opener. As the garage door went up, I walked Baby Bop down the attic access stairs and stood it at the bottom, in plain view of Tim.

    Tim absolutely SCREAMED with glee. He saw the garage door go up, and his favorite toy descend the stairs to beckon him in the house. Tim rushed into the garage, grabbed Baby Bop, lines and all, and ran into the house. I heaved a sigh of relief, climbed down, and shook my head slowly. How do I explain this to anyone? Just another day with Tim. The Crazy Things we Do For Love.


HEARTLIGHT(R) Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
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Article copyright © 1999, Cary Branscum. Used by permission.
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