When I was eight years old, my brother Danny and I came up with the perfect prank. We had pulled some doozies before but this one would top em' all. We staged the prank on our basement landing. After zipping me into an old suitcase my brother called for my sister's boyfriend Pete to come:
"Peeeeete...could you take this load of books downstairs? It's too heavy for me to carry."
Pete readily agreed and came to the landing. He lifted up the suitcase. Inside, I was trying as hard as I could not to giggle. All I could imagine was the surprise that would be on his face when I popped out at the bottom of the stairs. He took one step downstairs. Then another.
"This is gonna be good..." I thought to myself.
Suddenly, Pete halted. The suitcase was lifted higher. And then I was airborne. The suitcase made a graceful arc in the air before landing with a thud on the concrete basement floor. Ouch. Apparently our plan had worked a little too well. Little did Danny and I realize that we would have Pete so fooled into believing that I was a pile of book that he would be too lazy to carry me all the way downstairs himself. Hence, Air Suitcase.
I enjoy telling this story because it represents to me the antithesis of the wheelbarrow over Niagara Falls story that people like to illustrate what faith in Christ is like. If the story of the man on a tightrope pushing a person in a wheelbarrow over Niagara Falls is what faith in Christ is supposed to be like (you know, the whole question of who will get into the wheelbarrow), then I suppose you could say that my little suitcase encounter is an example of what happens when you place your faith in the WRONG thing (ie. anything other than Christ).
Sure, I had all the faith in the world that Pete would carry me downstairs. I believed sincerely and with every ounce of my being that I would reach the bottom of the stairs safely. Obviously I was wrong, because the end product of my little adventure was a big honkin' bruise on my knee (thank the Lord that I did not receive more injury). So what was the problem? Was it my faith that was at fault? Nope. My faith was fine; it was the OBJECT of my faith that was a little wonky.
You know the statement that says that you can believe in whatever you want as long as you are sincere? Check it out in light of this story. The sincerity of my faith in Pete's suitcase transportation skills was completely irrelevant because I had chosen to place my faith in the wrong person. Take this lesson to heart. Before you decide to climb into a suitcase or wheelbarrow, whatever your preference, make sure that the one who will carry you is sound.
Stephanie, I have to say that the Mother in me was absolutely horrified when I read what Pete did. OH MY! Your poor parents! ;-) Having said that though, this was a terrific story and a great connection. Good work! With love, Deb