Sunday, June 14, 2009

Parables

The mystery of God at work in the world is like a kid in elementary school, who is assigned to be the captain of a kickball team during gym class. The boy must build a winning kickball team by selecting his classmates, choosing in turns with the other team's captain. For his first pick, the boy chooses the least coordinated kid in class, the one whose shoelaces are always untied and whose legs look too scrawny. From there, the boy continues to select the least popular, the least attractive, the least athletic kids to be the players on his kickball team.

We would do well to open our eyes.

The movement of the Spirit is like a grocery store that is filled with people even though its shelves are bare. The people who shop at this particular store bring groceries with them to the store: bags full of fresh produce and cereal boxes, gallons of milk, boxes of spaghetti, and so much more. They fill shopping carts with their bags of food as they enter the store, and then they push their overflowing carts through the aisles of the grocery store, looking for other shoppers whose carts aren't as full or perhaps are empty, and they give their fresh groceries away. No money is exchanged here; those who have plenty come to share and those who are in need come to glean and be fed.

We would do well to open our hearts.

Does a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, not become one of the greatest of all shrubs, stretching out branches to provide shelter and shade for many birds? And if the seed had remained tightly sealed in a seed packet--unopened, unplanted--how many birds could it have sheltered? How many nests could it have covered with shade? Does a business owner, when she earns her first dollar from a customer, hurry to hide that dollar under a mattress? Or does she frame the dollar and display it proudly in her store?

We would do well to open our ears.

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