The Gecko and the Chameleoni Once upon a time there was a lovely young gecko who fell in love at with a handsome chameleon. It was, you might say, love at first sight. He was bluish-green the day they met, with dreamy eyes that could focus independently - one on her, and at the very same time, the other on a passing fly. (There are, by the way, few things that will impress a girl more.)
He loved her, too; her beautiful pale skin, the sticky pads on her feet, and the fluttering eyelids he could see almost through to her lovely eyes beneath.
They spent their first day together on a magnolia leaf by a quiet stream, catching flies and basking in the sun. Late in the afternoon, they parted ways and went home, promising to meet again the next day.
The following morning the sky was filled with clouds, and a cool wind blew. The chameleon waited in the shelter of the magnolia for the gecko. When he saw her approach, he stepped out and said "Good morning, my lovely gecko!" She looked at him, however, scowled, and walked right by. The chameleon was speechless. He paused for a moment, watching her as she walked by, then went sadly home.
The next morning he determined to try again, to find her and ask what the matter was. It was a lovely day, and he sat in the dappled sunlight enjoying the warm sun and a gentle breeze. Before long the gecko did come by, and the chameleon stepped out to greet her. "My lovely gecko..." he began, but she looked at him and scowled as she had the day before, shook her head, and walked right past him. Dejected, he went home again and spent the day thinking about the gecko.
The next day was bright and still, just as it had been on the day they met. The chameleon decided he would try to relive the memories of that first wonderful day. He went to the magnolia bush and basked on a leaf in the sunlight, his eyes closed.
"My handsome chameleon!" he heard a familiar voice exclaim. "Where have you been?" It was the gecko. She looked at him and fluttered her translucent eyelids in the way that had made his own heart flutter so when he first saw her. "I've come for the past two days and not found you!"
Bewildered, the chameleon reached out his hand and touched hers. Seeing his own bluish-green skin, he suddenly realized what happened. "I've been here all along!" he exclaimed. "You didn't recognize me! Watch this," he said, hopping off the magnolia leaf into the shade below.
In a few moments, he reappeared, and when the gecko saw his brown coloring, she stepped back in fright. "Chameleon, is that you?" she asked in disbelief.
"Of course!" he said. "I'm a chameleon, we change colors! When we're cool, we might be brown, and then in the sunshine turn green. When it's very warm I turn blue-green, as you see me know, and as I was when we first met!"
"I'm so embarrassed," said the gecko. "I thought I knew you, and yet I missed something so amazing about you I didn't even recognize you when I saw you. Now that I know you better, I love you even more." The two lizards spent that day as beautifully as the first, sharing their deepest thoughts and tastiest flies with one another.
The following morning, the chameleon determined to impress the little gecko so thoroughly that she would agree to marry him. Now you may know (though she certainly did not) that male chameleons have a pouch of loose skin at their throats called a "dewlap." When they want to impress a female they puff out their dewlap, inflating it with air, like a big balloon under their chin. Many women find this attractive, which may explain why Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of England. But I digress.
As soon as the little gecko approached the magnolia bush that morning, the chameleon stepped out, reared up a bit, threw his head back and puffed his dewlap into an enormous balloon. The gecko took one look, screamed hysterically and ran. The chameleon halted his performance and scurried after her.
"Lovely gecko!" he cried out, and she looked back.
"Oh, chameleon, did you see that awful creature? Run for your life!"
At length the chameleon convinced the gecko to stop running, and explained to her the dewlap courting ritual.
"You mean, you wanted to impress me?" she asked.
"I guess I did," he admitted.
“You didn't need to. You had me from the first time you held my gaze with one eye and still snatched a passing fly.”
Then, just when it seemed their future together was secure, a shadow fell over the two love-struck lizards. It was the shadow of a small hawk, who swooped down and grabbed the chameleon by his tail. Suddenly the gecko saw her love lifted into the air, about to become the hawk's mid-morning snack. Then, just as suddenly, he fell to earth again a few yards away. The gecko hurried to him. At first the chameleon seemed unharmed, but then, to her dismay, she noticed that he had lost his tail!
"Oh, my poor chameleon!" she said.
"Sorry about that," he said, looking at the big empty space behind him where his tail had been. "That's a little embarrassing."
"Embarrassing? It's tragic!" She said. Then she looked the chameleon straight in one eye, while he gazed back with the other at the place where his tail had been. "I want you to know," she said, "that I will always love you, even -- even --" and here she choked back tears "even like this."
"That's so sweet," said the chameleon." I may be a little unsteady until it grows back."
"Grows back!" she exclaimed. "Your tail will grow back?"
"Well, sure," he said. "You thought it wouldn't?"
"I thought you would always be tail-less," she admitted.
"And you loved me anyway?" he asked.
"I did," she said, and a slight blush came into her pale green cheeks. "And the more I learn about you, the more I do love you," she said, "and I always will."
Love grows as love knows. The more we learn of Jesus, the more we love him - and because God is so infinitely amazing, there is always more to learn.