parresia

I AM MERELY THE WINE BOTTLE POURING OUT THE WINE OF THE LORD.

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Location: New England, United States

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Parable of Unforgiveness

I am sure you remember the parable about the Lion and the Mouse where the Mouse bravely removes a splinter from the Lion's paw. If I may, I would like to take some literary license to create my own parable. I call it the Parable of Unforgiveness. This parable comes from years of personal experience from both perspectives.

On a cool autumn day, the Mouse and the Lion walked through the forest together. The Lion had agreed to help the Mouse gather food for the coming winter. He knew that gathering seeds for the winter food storage was always a daunting task for his little friend, so he offered his help with this year's harvest.

As they walked, they came to fork in the pathway. The left fork was known well by both the Lion and the Mouse, but the darker right fork had never been traveled by them. "Let us try the right fork." said the Mouse.

The Lion shook his head. "I don't think we should be going down a path we do not know."

"Come on! It will be fine." chirped the little Mouse. So, after some convincing, they started down the unknown path. To the delight of the Mouse, they found many seeds and nuts that had fallen from the tree canopy above. "See, I told you this would be a good idea." But, the Lion still felt uneasy about this path.

When they had gathered all that they could hold, they turned around and made their way back home. The Mouse skittered happily up the path to his little house; his winter harvesting was going well he thought, and he was grateful for the help offered by his friend. But, when he turned to thank his friend, the Lion grumbled something incomprehensible and turned towards his own den. The Mouse shrugged it off thinking perhaps that the Lion was just tired.

A week went by and the Mouse continued to fill his storehouses with seeds for the winter. Finally, he was satisfied that he had stored enough food to carry him through the dark days to come. He had finished just in time, for tomorrow was the Great Celebration when all the creatures of the forest came together to celebrate one last time before the first cold winds of winter. As the Mouse climbed into his little bed with the peace of someone who had accomplished his goal, he suddenly thought of his friend the Lion. "It's funny that I have not heard from the Lion all week. Well, I will see him tomorrow at the Great Celebration.", and with that, he fell asleep.

The next day, the little Mouse joined the merriment of the Great Celebration. Everyone was there and each neighbor had brought some of their harvest to share. The birds provided the music, the rabbits had already started the games and the squirrels danced from tree to tree. The Mouse moved easily through the crowd greeting his friends, but soon he realized that his best friend, the Lion, was not at the celebration. "Have you seen the Lion?" he asked the rabbits. They stopped their games each looking at the other in unease. "What's the matter? Where is my friend the Lion?", asked the Mouse.

Jake moved forward and with an air of reserve replied, "Lion is not feeling well and will not be attending the Great Celebration."

"What do you mean? Is he is sick?"

"You should know." replied Jake.

"But I don't know. What is wrong with him?" Without a response, Jake and the other rabbits turned their backs on the Mouse and went back to their games.

Deeply concerned, the Mouse ran to the Lions den. As the Mouse approached, he could see the Lion sitting outside his den with his paws before him. As the Mouse got closer, he was startled by the Lion's left paw. The fur was sparse and the whole paw was swollen with angry red swelling around each toe. "My goodness!" exclaimed the Mouse. "What has happened to you?"

"You should know."

"No." replied the confused Mouse. "I don't. What is wrong with your paw?" The Lion responded with a look of disdain. "Really, what has happened?"

"It was you. This is your fault. I told you we should not go down that dark path. I stepped on a thorn and it has lodged in my paw. This swollen paw is because of you!"

The Mouse pondered the Lion's paw quietly. Then with a small voice, "No, Lion. This was not my fault. You are my friend and I would never wish you to be in pain. If my decision to follow the dark path caused a thorn in your paw, you should have told me immediately for I would have gladly removed the thorn right there. It was your decision to leave me that day without a word about the thorn. Now, your paw is swollen with infection, and healing an infection is beyond my abilities. I accept responsibility for the thorn and I ask you to forgive me, but this infection is a result of your decision to keep the thorn to yourself."

Emotion coursed the Lion's face; first anger, then sorrow and fear. "Well, what can I do now? Is there no one who can heal my paw?"

"Yes, Lion. Although I cannot heal this infection, there is someone who can. He is a great physician and he can heal anyone who will believe in him. Come, I will take you to him. You will see that he will heal you."

"What is his name?"

The Mouse smiled broadly, "his name is Jesus."

16 Comments:

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Archetypes: Social animals in our midst
CREDIT: Kagan McLeod, National Post . THE LITERARY BLOGGER AVERAGE AGE 30 NATURAL HABITAT Creative Limbo A graduate of the Creative Writing program at Columbia, the literary blogger had one novella published by ...
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Blogger Paul said...

It would be wonderful if all physical ailments could be cured by faith in Jesus. Christians wouldn't die! Everything that went wrong with our bodies along the way would be cured by faith, and so the way for each of us would extend until the end of the world.

In any case, it's certain that there are a lot of complex situations like that - where the exact situation that develops is brought about, in different ways, by both people...

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