The little girl in the picture above is mine. So is the teddy bear. I received my Boo-Boo Bear in 1987 for my 8th birthday. I almost didn’t get him at all because I had snooped through my mom’s room trying to discover if she did make my birthday wish come true and buy the adorable teddy bear I’d fallen madly in love with. Love prevailed and, on my Birthday, my mother handed me Boo-Boo Bear unwrapped (so he wouldn’t suffocate).
Boo-Boo was actually one of those “get well” stuffed animals that you give a sick friend. He came with a fabric sling holding his poor injured right arm to his body. A single tear dripped from his right eye. He needed me.
I prayed for him every night until one night I declared him healed and cut his arm free from the binding fabric sling. The tear still remained. It wasn’t until adulthood that I caught the symbolism of that. After all, how often are we freed from pain only to let the painful memory remain long after the bandages have been destroyed?
The newly healed Boo-Boo Bear was declared a Christian which of course meant that he had to attend church with me. While all the other children’s toys patiently waited for their owners from the back seat of the family car, Boo-Boo Bear sat beside me in the pew.
One day the service was really exciting. I was so caught up in the puppet shows and the “arky-arky” song that I didn’t realize Boo-Boo Bear fell to the floor. Nor did I remember him when it was time to leave.
At bedtime I became painfully aware that I had been distracted away from my best friend who was almost certainly alone in a dark children’s church sanctuary. My heart was broken. I had abandoned my best friend. Would he ever forgive me?
My Mom, for the love of peace and the hope of a solid night sleep, quickly produced a teddy bear identical to Boo-Boo Bear. I might have been fooled had it not been for the returned sling and a slight shade difference in the fur.
I looked at the impostor with determined hate. This was not my bear!
Okay, forgive my spoiled fit and ignore that I am, in fact, an only child and try to see that my heart was bursting with loyalty when I violently ripped the nose right off that fake friend.
My mom desperately glued the nose back on and admitted defeat. “You are right,” She said “this is not Boo-Boo Bear. This is Boo-Boo-ette. She is Boo-Boo Bear’s sister. She would like to spend the night with you until Boo-Boo returns.”
In that case how could I refuse?
I held the bear and apologized for hurting her. I took off her sling and cuddled her. In the morning my pastor brought the original to my home.
Since then I have had two teddy bears. I simply couldn't stand to seperate a brother and sister. Not when my bed was big enough for both. Whether it’s the purple cast of Boo-Boo-ette’s fur, her slightly crooked nose, or simply attentive love, I can still tell them apart.
I slept with my teddy bears up to my wedding day. I made my mom babysit them when I went on my honeymoon.
When I first had kids I guarded these stuffed friends from the certain danger of baby drool and snotty noses. That is, until recently.
Now my youngest two children love my bears almost as much as I did. I’ve learned that the things we love the most are the most wonderful things to share. I glow when I see my children snuggling my precious teddy bears. Watching two treasures embrace is beautiful to me.
That’s exactly how it feels when we share God’s word with others. When we see our family members embrace God, our hearts soar. As we watch others waken to the truth of God and the importance of his word we begin to understand that all we really had to do is share what we love and wait for the heart to work.
“Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.” 2 Corinthians 9:13