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Beware of Gorillas Armed with Cracker Jacks
by Larry Davies

    “You are going to have a guest speaker,” the principal informed one of her kindergarten teachers early one morning. “He is an education student who will be demonstrating a sample lesson on storytelling to young children. The session needs to be video taped and your kindergarten class will make a perfect audience. Do you mind helping out?”

    “No, of course not,” replied the teacher.

    “Oh, by the way, the student will be in some sort of costume, a gorilla or something.”

    Indeed, later that day a gorilla did visit the kindergarten class and told several stories to the delight of the children, but then something very strange happened. The gorilla approached the teacher, dropped down on one knee and offered her a box of cracker jacks, “Open it, please!”

    The teacher’s jaw dropped as she reached into the box and pulled out an engagement ring.

    “Will you marry me?"

    It’s a crazy story... but it’s true. Do you want to know how it ends? Hang on! I’m getting to it.

    Whether describing a relationship between a husband and wife, close friends or God, no verb is mentioned more frequently in the Bible than “love” (more than 800 times). The greatest commandments are to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind. And ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Luke 10:27)

    To love someone is to offer up your ultimate expression of loyalty, passion and creativity. Love can be described in many ways, but one of them should never include the word... dull! In other words, it’s okay to be a little “gorilla-crazy” when you’re in love. Do you need some examples?

  • ...David passionately danced before the Lord while bringing in the Ark. (2 Samuel 6:14)

  • ...Jesus said, “unless you have the faith of a child, you will never get into the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:15)

  • ....the woman who poured expensive oils and perfume on Jesus feet and wiped them with her hair. (John 12:1-8)

  • ...Peter seeing that Jesus was alive leapt from the boat and swam to shore. (John 21:7)

    Finally there is the warning in Revelation: “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, I will spit you out of my mouth!” (3:15-16)

Are some of your friendships “lukewarm?”
    Are you one-half of a “lukewarm” couple? Do you belong to a “lukewarm” church? Are some of your friendships “lukewarm”? More importantly, could your personal relationship with the God who loves you so passionately be described as (gulp) “lukewarm”? Maybe it is time to seek forgiveness for your lack of passion and creativity. Then, pray that God will bring out the “gorilla” inside you.

    If you haven’t guessed the ending to the story yet, the kindergarten teacher said yes to the gorilla and kissed him while the children cheered. A few months later, her kindergarten class was given special seating at the wedding. How do I know? Her name is Mell Davies and we’ve been married for seven exciting, amazing years.

    Has the love between Mell and I always been this wild? Of course not, but that is where another aspect of a loving relationship becomes important... forgiveness.


HEARTLIGHT(R) Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
Copyright © 1996-98, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759.
Article copyright © 1998, Larry Davies. Used by permission. For more information on Larry's newsletter, Sowing Seeds of Faith... Stories of Hope and Humor for a World Gone Bonkers write him at sowseeds@hovac.com
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