Sermon Illustrations

EDISON: A LOVESICK FOOL

When Thomas Edison was 38 years old, his wife died leaving him a very lonely man. Six months after her death, Edison began looking for a new mate. He would leave no stone unturned in a systematic search reflecting his scientific nature. Although he liked to be portrayed in the media as a genius who worked in solitude, Edison had quietly assembled a fine research team to search for a new wife.

He hated social events, but dinner parties in the home of friends in Boston helped him meet many candidates at one time. He was proud of this efficient approach. But rather than making a calm, rational choice, he fell head over heels for an 18-year-old young lady from Ohio. She was everything he wasn’t—-religious, cultured, and beautiful, plus young enough to be his daughter.

He threw his normal caution to the wind and acted like a lovesick fool until Mina Miller would agree to marry him. An iron-willed, self-disciplined, workaholic found himself bitten by the love bug. He was unable to concentrate in his research lab and whiled away weeks writing silly notes to an 18-year-old. Finally, after their marriage, Edison settled back into his inventive routine.

Mina Miller was never bothered by Edison’s poor hearing, or even his chronic halitosis. She just brushed the dandruff off his coat and fell in love with him--the kind of love that sees the best in others and doesn’t always behave practically or rationally.

(From a sermon by Bruce Howell, "God’s Valentine" 2/9/2009)

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