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WITandWISDOM(tm) - April 26, 2004
ISSN 1538-8794

~~~~~~~ THOUGHTS:

If you can't see the bright side of life, polish the dull side.

Source: Carol's Thought for Today, http://www.kalama.com/~carola/


On the twenty-first of April, 1864, in the little village of East Leister in England, Jane Merrick, a school teacher, cradled in her arms, her precious little son that had just been born. Taking a character from the Bible whom she loved, John the Baptist, she named her son John - John Merrick. The joy was short-lived. Before very long, he began to develop hideously. John Merrick, later to be called the "Elephant Man" was an indescribable genetic disaster.

Soon his head began to take on the misshapen effects that would later cause women to gasp upon seeing him, and run sick to their stomachs from the encounter. One of his arms grew so large that it looked as though it were the trunk of an elephant, while his left arm remained entirely normal. His spine began to curve and he began to develop huge segments of skin unnecessarily, and they putrefied and had a terrible odor. John Merrick then lost his mother - the only one who loved him, at age 12, in a tragic accident. All he knew was gone.

As a teenager, rejected of society, looking increasingly more obnoxious and hideous by the day, John Merrick ran away from home. He soon found himself in the hands of an unscrupulous exhibitor, who made a sign advertising the Elephant Man, and charged two-pence apiece for a look at this hideous human. He was suffering from what was later called Van Recklehausen's syndrome, a genetic disease now known as multiple neurofibermetosis. And that poor man, at age 20, had become so deformed, such a recluse, and though he was a sensitive spirit, so utterly beaten down, that he could scarcely even look up through his one good eye at those who stared at him.

When he was 20 years old, in 1884, a physician by the name of Fredrick Trebis happened to pay the two-pence to see him, and became interested in him. He eventually moved him to London Hospital. Trebis thought that this man would never be able to communicate. But then one day, he finally understood him for the first time. And do you know what he was doing? He was repeating one of the two things he had read - the Bible. And that young man, the Elephant Man as he is known today, was repeating the twenty-third Psalm: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of death, I shall fear no evil."

Realizing that he was a thinker and that he was sensitive, Trebis began to bring various people to meet him. One day, a beautiful widow met John Merrick. When she was ready to leave, instead of the same reaction that most women had, she pressed forward and took John Merrick by the hand. When she did, it was the first human touch from a woman that he had felt since his mother died, and he began to weep. Trebis, sensing the unusual situation, and knowing that Merrick had become a student of the theater, brought to see him a person that Merrick thought he would never see. Mrs. William Kindle of the Drury Lane Theater came into the room. Like most people, the first moment she saw him, she was utterly repulsed. She managed to keep back the expression that she felt in her heart so that it did not come to her face.

But as often as Merrick would look away, as she later testified, she herself would turn away and shake her hands and head and fight back the tears from her eyes. She could not imagine a human being so hideously misshapen, so totally repulsive. How In the world could she even carry on a conversation with him? Then God began to do a work in her heart. Do you know what happened? When she got ready to leave, God spoke to her heart. She got up; she crossed the room. And she approached John Merrick, the Elephant Man, and not only did she extend her hand, but she embraced him in her beautiful arms. As she leaned over, this famous, beautiful actress, planted on the misshapen, inarticulate lips of John Merrick, the only precious kiss he ever experienced in his whole life. His shoulders began to wrench. Tears burst from those eyes. And he began to weep, understanding what it had taken for her to do that.

Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Eternal God, holy and exalted, above sin, without the taint of iniquity in heaven above, looked down at our misshapen, malformed sinful selves. Jesus did not turn away from us. He placed the kiss of grace on us and received us.

By J. Mike Minnix

Source: The Timothy Report, Copyright (c) 2004 Swan Lake Communications, http://www.timothyreport.com

~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:

When Fishermen Meet


Source: Nick's Humor List


An aardvark who yearned for romances
Hooked up with another called Frances;
He courted her good
As a good aardvark should
With a dinner of succulent antses.

Source: Judy's Jokes for Sunday, mailto:JJs4Sunday-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

~~~~~~~ TRIVIA:

Are American's getting their veggies?

Americans eat less than one serving of fruit and only one and a half servings of vegetables per day. About 45 percent reported eating no fruit in a day, and one in nine said they didn't eat either fruit or vegetables.

Source: ArcaMax Trivia, http://www.arcamax.com/cgi-bin/reg

Number of recommended daily servings for fruits? 2 - 4 and vegetables? 3 - 5

WITandWISDOM™ ISSN 1538-8794 - Copyright © 1998-2004 by Richard G. Wimer - All Rights Reserved
Any questions, comments or suggestions may be sent to Richard G. Wimer.