Monday, February 8, 2010
Teddy Bears Stuffed With Faith
It sounds so cute. A church in southeastern Texas uses Teddy Bears to cheer up the sad, visit the lonely and tend to the sick.
The bears, my friend Carolyn says, have colorful ribbons around their necks and sit around the church sanctuary until they are needed. Anyone can donate a Teddy for this mission. There's a tag on each bear that says something like: "This bear has heard the Word, songs of praise and sermons. It has been given love. Now it comes to you, with the blessings of worship and love."
How cute to give a Teddy Bear to a sick child, a teen struggling with loneliness, a young mom whose baby is ill. Limited in its use, I think, but cute.
Then my friend Louie opens my world.
Louie's a man's man, a former grain elevator operator and manager from Minnesota. He's a member of the Moose where he's held a number of top positions. He's a guy who's seen 75, but not yet 80. Louie took one of these Teddy Bears to a sick friend of his, also a Midwestern man's man.
This man's man wept. Over the outpouring of love from Jesus Christ. He felt that love through this Teddy Bear and Louie's compassion for gifting it to him.
So today I sit in this church, called Island in the Son, on the Corpus Christi coast Texas, next to these Teddy Bears, who have notes of love and ribbons around their necks. And I honor their mission, embrace their intent.
And also enjoy their undeniable cuteness.