The Atheist and the Bear
An atheist was taking a walk through the woods, admiring all that the “accident of evolution” had created. “What majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful animals!” he said to himself. As he was walking alongside the river he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to look. He saw a seven-foot grizzly charge towards him. He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder and saw that the bear was closing. He ran even faster, so scared that tears were coming to his eyes. He looked over his shoulder again, and the bear was even closer. His heart was pumping frantically and he tried to run even faster.
He tripped and fell to the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but saw the bear, right on top of him: reaching for him with his left paw and raising his right paw to strike him. At that instant the atheist cried out “Oh my God! ....” Time stopped. The bear froze. The forest was silent. Even the river stopped moving. As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky: “You deny my existence for all of these years; teach others I don’t exist; and, even credit creation to a cosmic accident. Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer?” The atheist looked directly into the light: “It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps could you make the bear a Christian?”
“Very well,” the voice said. The light went out. The river ran again. And the sounds of the forest resumed. And then the bear dropped its right paw . . . brought both paws together . . . bowed its head and spoke: “Lord, for this food which I am about to receive, I am truly thankful.”