One of my favourite photos is a the picture of Grover (above) taking a breather at Conwy Castle in Wales. A few years ago he had his brief moment of fame when this photo was used in a LA Times Travel blog.
Once, inside Edinburgh Castle an American tourist asked what we were doing when my wife and I were setting Grover up for a photo. At the time I suggested that these photos could be used back at school as an inspiration for stories. In fact, there was a time when Grover was photoshopped extensively in Middle School.
But if the truth is known we take Grover with us just to add a touch of whimsy to our travels. The kids have left home, we need someone to take a photo of.
Many Christians I meet are deadly serious. There is nothing wrong with being serious; certainly when it regards faith and our relationship with God. But there is also a place for the light-hearted, the joyful, spontaneous – shall we call it – silly. Grover is just one of a host of idiosyncracies in our family that celebrates that whimsical, daydreaming aspect of life. When we come together as family there are serious discussions about faith, work and life, but there is also the banter about “stuffies” and playing with Lego and silly movie quotes and the bizarre make up of relationships that inhabit our family. Have you got or singlet sister? Of whom may you ask, “Have you got a bag?” No, I wont explain.
But there is a joy and lightness in whimsy that allows you to celebrate life in the midst of all the harsh realities. Next time you go on a trip, take a stuffed toy and you will be amazed by the discussions you will start with people around you. And no, people with white coats haven’t come looking for us … yet.
PS. Photos of Grover’s adventures can be found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pstok/sets/72157604854152768/