Back in 2006, young Dave Davila graduated from college and was fortunate enough to find a good job.  For his family, the only problem was that it was in Chicago, a 3 hour drive away from his boyhood home of East Moline, Illinois.  Davila was the only one of the four Davila children to leave his small hometown and very close knit family.  In an effort to make light of her son’s absence, Dave’s mother started looking for ways to compensate.

And so, Flat Dave was born.  Dave’s mother, Alice, took a picture of her son standing casually with his hands in his pocket and a smile on his face and had it blown up to match his 5 ft. 8 in. frame.  Then she affixed the photo to a piece of cardboard that could easily stand anywhere.

Soon Flat Dave was making appearances all over town--at his mother’s work, at a relative’s graduation party.  He’s so natural in public, people have been known to mistake him for the real Dave (who is now known as “Thick Dave”).  And this was only the beginning of Flat Dave’s fame. Soon he was being invited to public appearances.  His picture was appearing in the local paper.  He even did a very silent interview on a local radio station with Alice.

Of course everyone knows that Flat Dave is a poor substitute for the real thing.  And you can tell that Dave and his family have a good sense of humor about the whole thing, so it’s funny.  You can imagine how it would be slightly creepy if everyone wasn’t so tongue-in-cheek about it.  Or if they really seemed to be under the impression that Flat Dave is exactly the same as Thick Dave.

Dave did note that it does occasionally get surreal.  He told the Chicago Tribune, "I'm in Chicago talking to my mom on the phone and she says, `Hold on, I've got to load you into the van.' It's a little weird."

This Sunday, we’re going to start a two part sermon on true and fake religion.  There’s a passage in Paul’s letter to the Colossians where he first talks about real faith and then about fake faith.  I think you’ll see that the difference between real faith and fake faith is as obvious as the difference between a real person and a cardboard cutout.

I hope that you’ll take the opportunity to make your faith a little more real.