Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Prophetic Parable

Once there was a good Christian man.  He would read his Bible daily, praise God every Sunday and he treated his family well.  He had a small business which was not doing great, but pretty well.  He was able to make his family comfortable and take them on a vacation every year.

Every day he would walk to his office from his house.  One day, as he was walking to his office, he saw a man in disheveled, dirty clothes, holding a sign which said, “Homeless—anything will help.”  The disheveled man looked, pleading with the Christian with his eyes.  

The Christian turned his head, saying to himself, “He needs to get a job instead of bothering good people on the street.”  

The next day the Christian saw a filthy woman holding a sign which said, “Pregnant and homeless, please help.”  She asked him, “Could you spare a few dollars so I could get a motel room?” 

He replied, “Isn’t there a shelter you could go to?”  She said that there were no shelters for single women.  He said, "I'm sorry, I can't help you."

The next day the Christian saw a man with brown skin and unkempt hair sitting on the sidewalk with one leg missing.  The man asked with a deep accent, “Could you please assist me in any way?”  

The Christian became upset with all of these interruptions of his pleasant morning meditation, and he yelled, “Can’t you people just leave me alone?  Why don’t you just go back where you came from?”

 As he walked into his office on that third day, the Christian had a heart attack and died.  The angels picked him up and delivered him immediately to the Father for judgment.  

The Father looked down at him and said, “I sent you three of my angels, to see how you would respond to them.  I have brought them here to witness to your action.”  

The first angel, no longer disheveled, but wearing white robes said, “This Christian refused to help me.”  

The second angel, no longer dirty, said, “He told me to find a shelter, but offered no help.”  

The third angel, with his leg fully intact, said, “This Christian told me to go back where I came from.  So I am here.  He refused to help me.”  

The Father looked at the man and judged: “You have done evil to your brothers and sisters.  I gave you many blessings, and you refused to help those in need.  You will be punished eternally.”

As the enforcement officers came to take the Christian away, he called to the Father, “But Lord, Lord—what about my family?  Shouldn’t they be given a chance?  Please send one of these angels to them to explain to them their sin so they can repent.”  

The Father replied, “Do they not read my Word daily?  If they ignore the one who has been risen from the dead, they will not listen to an angel.”

-Based on Luke 1619-29 and Tolstoy's story, "Where Love Is, God Is"

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