An atheist was walking through the woods, admiring all the “accidents” that evolution had created. “What majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful animals!” he said.

Suddenly he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. Turning to look, he saw a seven-foot grizzly bear charging toward him. He ran as fast as he could up the path.

He looked over his shoulder and saw the grizzly was closing in on him. He was so scared that tears came to his eyes. His heart was pounding. He tried to run faster but then tripped and fell to the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up, but the bear was over him, raising its right paw to strike him.

“O my God!” cried the atheist.

Time stopped. The bear froze. The forest was silent. Even the river stopped moving.

As a bright light shone on the man, a voice came out of the sky, “You deny my existence for all these years, teach others that 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 and said, “I would feel like a hypocrite to become a Christian after all these years, but perhaps you could make the bear a Christian?”

“Very well,” said the voice.

The light went out. The river ran. The sounds of the forest resumed. 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.”

—Anonymous / Larson, C. B., & Ten Elshof, P. (2008). 1001 illustrations that connect (477). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.