Gunner at GAP

There are some things you just never dream of doing.  There are other things that you’ll only do if opportunity beats down your door with a sledgehammer.  And sometimes both kinds of things hit you all at once.

So what happens when you combine the cost of living in Southern California, the upcoming bill for a second international adoption, three costly graduate degrees, an expensive cross-country move, a future in low-paying ministry, and a global financial recession?


When I was approached by a modeling representative in Santa Clarita last fall requesting that I consider signing a nice-sized contract to advertise for GAP’s winter wear, I was completely shocked.  What Dean at a conservative Christian college thinks he’ll be invited to a photo shoot modeling winter wear for a mainline clothing company? (Apparently GAP was looking for a male in his early twenties with a mixed heritage, and although I told them I was twenty-eight, they didn’t blink.  It’s about the look, not the reality, they said.)

But once I got over the shock of being approached on the sidewalk by a modeling representative, I realized that I really ought to consider it.  Since we’ve often been told that our ultra-cute son should be a child model, we’re used to hearing the topic raised.  But never this seriously — not with an offer on the table.

So I went home and began doing my homework.  I researched GAP to see what they’re really all about.  I talked to a few close friends and got their input.  I asked my wife (obviously) to see if she wouldn’t mind her husband’s face plastered all over the nation’s malls throughout November and December.  And I searched my conscience, finally concluding that there’s nothing inherently wrong with marketing, and that doing a single photo shoot for an amoral company to earn a good chunk of money that could be used redemptively was actually good stewardship.

I hesitated to share this until now, partially because of the mockery I would’ve received from the college students and staff that I was around every day, and partially because it just doesn’t seem like the kind of thing you announce on your blog.  But since it’s summertime now and we’re about to move out of the state, I thought it was time to make it public.  But just remember:  If you knew the amount I was paid, I doubt you’d judge me for selling my soul to American marketing, or mock me for the goofy pose they asked me to give them.  Enjoy:



Oh, and one last (really) important note.  I’m just kidding.  None of this ever happened.  A good friend (Heidi Keller) actually saw this GAP poster at the Valencia TownCenter around Christmas and told us about it.  It’s not me.  It’s just my long lost twin, apparently.  I was purging my computer files this afternoon and found the picture.  Shame on you for judging me as superficial.  Shame on me for spending thirty minutes writing up an elaborate fiction.  And Merry Christmas to all.  Now, be honest — did you believe the story?


6 thoughts on “Gunner at GAP

  1. Esther told me about this before I read it…but I wish I knew if I would have believed it! I think I would have, since I rarely doubt the truthfulness of what you are saying. The one line I thought to be very un-Gunner-like was “But just remember: If you knew the amount I was paid, I doubt you’d judge me for selling my soul to American marketing, or mock me for the goofy pose they asked me to give them.”

  2. I believed it! :)

    And speaking of kidding and elaborate fictions: I’m reminded of our Slight RA retreat back in the day… Poor Nate Keith! I feel bad even now!

  3. Wouldn’t be the first time your age has been under assumed:

    “How old are you guys?”

    “I’m twenty-uh…twenty-seven.”

    “Hey, whatever you get your kicks from, my son plays Dungeons and Dragons. Y’all have fun rolling that tire…”

  4. Actually, I did believe it (I’m just gullible like that) and all I thought was “awesome, God provides!” :-)


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