Saturday, August 3, 2013

God is a Purple Hippo?

Mark Shea of the National Catholic Register recently shared this wonderful anecdote,  told to him by none other than  Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College and King's College (NY) at the recent Defending the Faith Conference at the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio.

Professor Peter Kreeft

"... he ...told me of the most spectacular conversion he ever saw: a former student who had been an atheist (ex-Catholic). He was brilliant, got A's in his sleep, had a photographic memory and was as rich as Midas cuz daddy was a heart surgeon. He got into drugs and alcohol, but could handle it and so graduated with a med degree and got a red convertible from dad to celebrate.

On the night of his graduation, he drove to a bridge with the full intention of taking it at 100 MPH and committing suicide for the simple reason that he had everything and his life was completely empty and meaningless. Speeding toward the bridge, he suddenly saw, looming up in front of him, a giant purple hippopotamus. (He swore he was stone cold sober.) Stopping the car, the kid said "Who are you?" and the hippo replied, "I'm God and I want you to do what I say."

The kid agreed and the substance of the command was "Repent. Believe in Jesus Christ. Go to Bible school, become a pastor, save souls." The kid asked, "Why are you a purple hippopotamus?" and God replied, "Because you were so far gone this was necessary to get your attention."

The kid obeyed, went to Bible School, became a pastor, and helped inner city kids get off drugs and alcohol. 

One of Peter's students knew somebody he helped, and that's how word got back to Peter that this brilliant former atheist was now a pastor. Peter met him and got the whole story first hand. A lulu of a conversion story proving yet again that God is weird and that he loves you and has no concern for his own dignity when it comes to emptying himself for our salvation.

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