When I caught the news reports that actress Donna D’Errico just returned from Turkey, where she climbed Mt. Ararat in search of Noah’s Ark, I initially thought it some kind of sacrilegious publicity stunt.
After all, D’Errico is known for her role as a swimsuit-wearing vixen on TV’s “Baywatch,” and, before that, as a Playboy magazine centerfold.
But I am now convinced the 44-year-old actress is on a spiritual quest: She truly wants to authenticate one of the great stories of the Bible.
Indeed, she says, “I believe in the Bible.” Her interest in Noah’s Ark was sparked when she was a Catholic school girl. “I would do class projects based on the ark.,” she remembers.
D’Errico is well aware that her search for the Ark is looked upon with skepticism – if not derision – by those who consider her a decidedly unlikely – if not unworthy – Ark hunter.
“If I didn’t know me,” she says, “I would think it was funny. You know, ‘Baywatch babe goes searching for Noah’s Ark.’ I know what the mentality is, what the general consensus is, that everybody thinks it’s hilarious. But, really and honestly, I don’t even care.”
That’s because D’Errico is purpose-driven. She is no longer the young woman who was all about selling her sex appeal on TV and in magazines. She now presents her body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.
Indeed, D’Errico’s search for Noah’s Ark actually caused her bodily injury during her recent trip to Turkey, when she tumbled down Mt. Ararat suffering cuts and bruises to her face, arms and legs.
While it was “a little scary,” she says, it was not too great a price to pay to glorify God with her quest. In fact, she plans to return to Mt. Ararat next month to continue her search for the Ark’s final resting place.
Now there almost certainly are some religious folk who believe that, if God means for Noah’s Ark to be found – which, arguably, would be the greatest discovery of our time – He wouldn’t bestow that honor upon a woman with D’Errico’s less-than-Godly past.
But the Almighty chooses whom He will choose.
Indeed, the Bible tells the story of Rahab, the harlot, whom God chose to assist Joshua and the children of Israel in sacking the city of Jericho. It also tells the story of Mary Magdalene, “cleansed of seven demons,” who had the honor of being the very first to see the risen Savior.
So while it is improbable that Donna D’Errico will go down in archeological history as the person who finally found Noah’s Ark, we know that with God all things are possible.