I found myself in such a predicament a few years ago, when an associate, a grown man, began bringing a stuffed bear to business meetings. Business meetings I had to sit through. Endure.
This bear would be introduced as Mr. Grin & Bear It, my co-worker's Administrative Assistant, and if there were any concerns about specific tasks or projects that had not been completed by this co-worker and his team, the bear took the heat.
"If this or that hasn't been done, blame Mr. Grin & Bear It"
The relationship between bear and man was becoming awkward, a bit much, in my mind, and in the minds of a few others who had mumbled their concerns under hushed breathes. When the bear began making appearances at holiday outings, theme parks etc., enough was enough.
Despite warnings from my supervisor that tampering with this man/bear bond would only further delay much needed task completion, I began plotting a "bearnapping".
I enlisted double-agent co-workers to assist me in napping the bear. Let the adventures, and ransom notes begin....
Word soon got out of the bearnapping. Ransom notes began filtering through to his owner through the hands of the double-agents. In response, an A-Team Task Force was formed to rescue this poor bear. What a great opportunity for me to become a double agent myself ! I participated in rescue efforts at every turn.
Mr. Grin & Bear It had his own facebook page so people around the world could participate in the rescue efforts.Mr. Grin & Bear It Facebook
Facebookies asked questions of the bear to see if they could get some hints as to his location. and report sightings.
The "bearnapper" (me) set up a blog as a means of "bearnapping terrorism propaganda" and was able to keep his owner alerted as to his plight. Updates were posted, pictures uploaded, and videos taunted those on the Task Force.
Where In The World Is Mr Grin & Bear It Blog
Over the next few months, the bear was frequently relocated to a new hiding places. He made cameo appearances in work-related videos. Ransom notes were delivered with updated demands, including demands for gummy bears, circus animal cookies, a Starbucks gift card, and a check for $131,000!
As the general public learned of the growing demand for gummy bears and Benjamins, would-be imposter bearnappers began to appear out of the blue.
|"I have your friend in my evil grip. I demand gummy bears"|
The bear had quite a few adventures while we were on the lam.... we went to San Fransisco where he was arrested and handcuffed!
....was locked up in Alcatraz for a short time
and almost flung himself off of the Golden Gate Bridge
The farce continued throughout the summer months, until the bear was safely returned to his owner at a conference in front of all who knew of his plight.
He was rescued, of course, by me! Being a double-agent definitely had it's advantages!
At the conference, following a video that resembled a scene from the Godfather promising retribution towards the bearnapper, and in front of 400+ co-workers, I appeared, disheveled and exhausted, reporting that I had just returned from a globe trottingl rescue effort. I lofted the bear high above my head, Lion King "circle of life" style and returned him to his rightful owner... and I gladly accepted the "check" for the $131,000. But never did get any gummy bears...or a Starbucks card...Hmmmmm....I may need to strike again!
When all was said and done, the whole adventure was fun for all those involved. I was in hopes that I had not upset my coworker. His bear had many adventures, all chronicled for his owner as a fun memory.
It was a fun joke....or so I thought.
What I didn't anticipate was the day that my co-worker approached me and let me know just how much the bear-napping had meant to him.
It was more than a joke to him. It was a much needed distraction.
Unbeknownst to me, at about the same time that I took the bear, his wife had become very ill, at times requiring hospitalization, her prognosis unknown, and frightening.
Between work, visits to the hospital, caring for his family, and prayers for his wife's well-being, he was able to escape reality for a short amount of time each day to keep tabs on his bear.
What had originally been a scheme to transform my irritation into entertainment developed into something good, something that was needed, something that was helpful....for a co-worker, a friend, in need.
I guess it's true that God uses each of us in our own unique way to lift up and support each other in our times of need.... I just didn't know I'd do that via a bearnapping.