I love the Muppets. I must have watched the Muppet Movie over a hundred times with first born and second born sons. One of my favorite characters is Gonzo the Great. No one is quiet sure what Gonzo is. In The Great Muppet Caper Fozzie Bear, Kermit, and Gonzo are newspaper reporters who are sent, via air cargo, to London to investigate a jewel heist. But the mystery of Gonzo remains. The crates for Fozzie and Kermit are labeled “Bear” and “Frog”. On Gonzo’s crate is the stenciling “Whatever”. Maybe that is why I love this character so much. A sensitive and kind of weird “whatever” in search of himself. I can relate to that.
One of my all time favorite Muppet moments happens in the Great Muppet Caper. Kermit and Gonzo cannot manage to hail a taxi. So Gonzo suddenly leaps into the middle of the street, a taxi slams on the brakes and they have a ride. Kermit looks at him in amazement and says “That’s very..effective.” Gonzo replies, “yeah, it’s GREAT when it works!!” And that is how I view this blog experience and some of the interesting sidebars it creates. And yes, this is all leading somewhere.
I had written a blog about the mild controversy that the Million Dollar Bills had generated for the Great News Network when the Secret Service confiscated them. A few readers took exceptional offense to my thoughts. But one who did not take exceptional offense was the subject of the blog, Darel Rundus. He contacted me and we agreed to have lunch. I knew right away that we would get along. His email to me told me how to recognize him. “I will be the one passing out million dollar bills”. I told him I would be the one wearing an earpiece and a wire. When Darel thought that was funny I knew we would be fine.
Darel is an engaging and warm man. We had a great time of fellowship. And we had a good discussion about the controversy and how we represent Christ. I was able to assure him that I never questioned him or his heart for ministry. And he graciously accepted that. This was a laboratory about how we should communicate in the body of Christ. I feel like I had some legitimate questions. But I will confess that I made one major mistake. I should have contacted Darel first to get his side. For that I asked his forgiveness and I ask yours. I will also confess that numerous bad experiences with other organizations had left me cynical. That is wrong. Darel was able to give me a perspective that would have been helpful in my initial article. I think they have a reasonable concern with the method of the bill confiscation. And I believe their question about the proliferation of similar bills is fair.
A couple of my points would have remained the same. I did feel the comments toward the Secret Service could have been more graceful. He agreed and he wished he had softened that a bit. I was concerned about the implication that the ministry would keep distributing the bills no matter what. Darel assured me that if the judge ruled them illegal they would promptly stop the distribution. That had not been clear in the earlier reports. So he understood my heart and I understood his. Both of us are trying to serve the Lord Jesus with fear and trembling. It was a great time. And it happened because Darel Rundus decided to fellowship with an “evil” blogger and not “flame” him. I have a new friend in the body of Christ. As a blogger you often throw yourself into the cyber traffic. I try to encourage thought and debate. Darel Rundus decided to stop and discuss. With civility. That is how it should work. And it is GREAT when it works.
By the way, I gave my books to Darel. He did insist on giving me a token of appreciation. A million bucks for a couple of books is really very generous!