Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bananarama (Classic)

This is is one of the earliest posts on the blog... and it's back because it makes me laugh & think at the same time.

Off the AP wire:  

Woman Pelts Robbery Suspect With Bananas  
Thu Mar 24, 5:13 PM ET 
By JAMES MacPHERSON, Associated Press Writer 

BISMARCK, N.D. - Crystal Senger stopped at a convenience store to buy pop and cigarettes, and she saw the clerk being choked in a robbery attempt. She ran to call for help. Then she started throwing bananas. 

Senger, 19, said she grew up playing organized baseball, and used those skills to pelt the suspect in the head with every banana she threw, from about 10 feet away. "I was seven-for-seven," Senger said in a telephone interview Thursday. "They were green bananas — not the ripe mushy ones — so they hurt." 

Senger said the suspect, who police said was intoxicated, was stunned from getting hit by the flying fruit. 

A 17-year-old was arrested after he bolted from the Devils Lake store and tripped over a piece of wood, after a short foot chase, Police Chief Bruce Kemmet said. The teen had no weapon and no money was taken from the store, Kemmet said. 

Police said the suspect, who was not identified because of his age, stood more than 6 feet tall, and weighed about 300 pounds. He allegedly entered the Holiday Station Store about 1 a.m. Tuesday. 

"It's pretty simple. The guy walked into the store and said something to the effect of "Give me what I want,"' Kemmet said. 

"He threw me around like I was nothing," said store clerk Ed Bingham, "and I weigh 220 pounds." Bingham said the suspect kicked and punched him for what "felt like forever." 

Bingham, 43, said he pushed a button that alerted the store's security company. 

"When I walked in the store, I saw Ed in a choke hold, yelling for help and gasping for air," Senger said. "There was blood everywhere." 

She ran out and told her friend to call 911 on her cell phone. "She was in shock, so I had to do it," Senger said. 

Senger said she came back in the store and "screamed at the top of my lungs at him to stop." When she was sure the suspect was unarmed, she began bombarding him with bananas. 

Senger said the basket of bananas was the closest thing she could find. "If there would have been cans of soup on the counter, I would have thrown those at him," she said. 
Man, you can't make up stuff like that. I'd love to see the in-store security camera footage of the scene. And I'm betting that Isaac would sign Ms. Senger up for our softball team in a heartbeat.

But you've probably guessed that I'm telling you this story in order to make a point. (I always have a point, right? Well, most of the time.) 

Here's the point: Ms. Senger saw a situation that demanded action (the robbery) and decided to act. In fact, she was willing to use anything she could find to make a difference... in her case, green bananas. (We'll have to check with Bruce, our local expert on all things "police-y", but I'm guessing he didn't receive any training on how to foil a convenience store holdup with produce.)

Our God works the same way
Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world's eyes, or powerful, or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God deliberately chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose those who are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important, so that no one can ever boast in the presence of God. 1st Corinthians 1:26-29 (New Living Translation)  
Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don't see many of "the brightest and the best" among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn't it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these "nobodies" to expose the hollow pretensions of the "somebodies"? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have--right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start--comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That's why we have the saying, "If you're going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God." 1st Corinthians 1:26-31 (The Message)  
Basically, we're bananas. Or cans of soup. Or 6 month old packages of pastries. Or whatever. We're the "foolish things", the "powerless things", the "nobodies". 

Now, I'll bet I'm not the only person reading this who doesn't like the sound of being a "nobody". I've spend most of my life trying to be "somebody", to garner a little pile of fame, recognition & success. But the thrust of the passage in 1st Corinthians makes it clear that it isn't the scrapings & shavings of power & honor that we've swept into our corner that makes us valuable to God. It's the fact that Jesus loves us so much He uses us to change the world. 

In other words, it's not what you throw (bananas or soup cans), it's who's throwing it (an ex-baseball player). 

In other words, it's not what you throw (the foolish, the powerless, the nobodies), it's who's throwing it (Jesus Christ). 

Take a minute right now and let that sink in - no matter what you've managed to accomplish, or how your life has crumbled & collapsed... you are being pitched into the game of life by the One the book of Hebrews calls "the author & perfector of our faith." You're a green banana upside the head of the Enemy... enjoy!  

This article originally appeared in the 4/5/05 edition of "the Grapevine", the e-newsletter of NewLife Community Church.

2 comments:

Margaret Feinberg said...

HA! I would love to be right there with you--watching the security cameras--from a safe distance, of course

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

I have a mental picture of a green banana ricocheting off the crook and whipping towards the camera like something out of a 3D movie...

...then a splatting noise and the screen is filled with static.