Once upon a time, at a baby shower long, long ago (okay, it was four years ago), I received a gift from my grandmother. I received many gifts, but none of them are remembered quite as fondly by my friends as Bible Bear.
Bible Bear is wired with buttons you can push. Each button is labeled with a bible verse, such as “Gen 1:1.” When the button is pressed, it should play the indicated bible verse in two or three installments. For instance:
Press once, and the uber-perky, youthful boy’s voice shouts, “Genesis! One! One!”
Press again, and he shouts, “In the beginning! God created the heavens and the earth!”
(If the verse is very long, it will be divided into shoutable bits and you have to press a third time to hear the conclusion.)
Or at least this is what it should shout. More often than not, our Bible Bear gets its wires crossed and mixes the verses up. Or, and perhaps more relevantly, it chooses to repeat one bit over and over again, regardless which button you have pressed. In our case, beloved Bible Bear prefers to shout at us, “Romans! 6! 23!”**
For those of you not in the know, Romans 6:23 reads as follows: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Wait. Let me do that again in Bible Bear voice.
“ROMANS! SIX! TWENTY-THREE!
FOR THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH!
BUT THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS!”
Now we are not, in our little family here, what I would call ‘practicing Christians.’ In fact, one member of this household makes it his or her practice to not practice Christianity. And I do not think of us as superstitious (though I do tend to wonder occasionally if I’m about to jinx myself, which is – OF COURSE – irrational), but I do have to wonder what exactly the bear trying is to tell us. And if my grandmother – my technologically illiterate grandmother – tampered with this bear’s wiring because she had something she wanted to tell us.
For the record, that’s not her way. She has no problem telling us to our faces that if we don’t get right with God RIGHT NOW, we’re in big, big trouble. So, the bear’s verse of choice is probably just coincidence, but it’s a delightfully funny one. Well, in the telling it’s delightfully funny. At the time, the bear was downright creepy. I’m just sayin’.
You might be wondering at this point why I would tell this story today. I will tell you. Though I thought I threw the bear away when we moved to this house 3.5 years ago, yesterday as I dug out stuff for the baby’s room, I FOUND THE F*CKING BEAR.
I have not had a chance to test its buttons yet because I am constantly shadowed by the tot, and I cannot let her see this bear because she will want to keep it and we are SOOOOOO not keeping it. So, tomorrow while she is at day care, I will pull it out and start pushing buttons. If I do not report back within a week, send help. The bear has eaten my soul.
*If you don’t get that this is a reference to the original Blues Brothers movie, I have a homework assignment for you for the weekend: Go watch it.
**And yes, as a football fan I do often want to shout back at it “Hut HUT!”