A Parable

Fiction By Roxanna // 4/6/2008

Years and years ago, in a far away place, lived a man who was good and kind. He was very well off, but always gave help to those who asked for it. His neighbors loved him for his gracious ways and complete lack of selfishness. Whenever their children were sick, he took them into his house and nursed them back to health. If their houses burnt down, he replaced everything from his own estate. If they were sad, he held them and comforted them until they felt they could face life again.

And yet, the man was lonely. His neighbors, although they loved him, led very busy lives and tended to forget about him when their lives were going well. They didn't mean to-- and sometimes they would think of him sitting alone in his big house and feel a pang of guilt. But such feelings soon passed and were replaced by other, "more pressing" matters.

He had one companion-- one little white lamb. This lamb was always by his side, and it was clear to all that the man and the lamb loved each other very much. The lamb loved the people as well-- whenever the man was comforting a mourner, the lamb would come up to the mourner, placing his head on the mourner's knee, looking into their eyes with his huge brown ones, and letting their tears fall on his coat.

For some time, the town was relatively peaceful. The people had their own personal problems, but none of them affected the community as a whole.

And then the lion came.

At first, reports of the lion were scattered and vague-- people heard of second cousins who lived miles away disappearing. But soon those stories were coming far too often and occurring far too close to home. And then, one day, one of their own disappeared, only to have his body found a few days later. Well, not his body, exactly-- what they found was more like a scattering of bones and clothing.

Soon, the people were living in terror. More and more of their friends and family members were being devoured. They didn't know what to do. A few men went out to fight the lion, and never came back. Some barricaded themselves into the town hall, but their food supplies dipped lower and lower.

None of them thought to tell the man.

After the lion had been reigning over the town for a few weeks, the man began hearing whispers of the lion. He grew worried about the people, and left his house, carrying his lamb in his arms, intending to find out what was happening. He went to the town hall. The people were cowering in corners, holding their crying children, who kept getting thinner and thinner.

"Why didn't you tell me what was going on?" the man asked.

"We were afraid to come up to you. The lion prowls everywhere. And there is nothing you could have done anyway-- he is too strong!" the people cried.

The man shook his head sadly and left the town hall without saying a word. He walked into the middle of a field, still holding the lamb, and waited. A few minutes later, the lion appeared. It seemed to smile as it said, "Ah, how kind of my dinner to come straight to me!"

"You cannot touch me," the man said.

The lion spat as it recognized his nature. "Maybe not," it said, "but I can ruin your people. I can take them away from you and eat them. And you can do absolutely nothing about it."

"That is why I am here," the man said. "I will make you an offer. I know you are here to torment me, not my people, so I am offering you my only companion-- my lamb whom I love with all of my heart. But if you take my lamb, you must promise that you will leave my people alone unless they freely give themselves to you."

The lion was drooling-- it wanted the lamb so much. So it agreed.

The man lowered the lamb to the ground. The lamb, looking into the man's eyes, stepped towards the lion. The man had to close his eyes as the lion pounced.

The man returned to the town hall to tell the people what had happened. He was met mostly with skepticism. "The lion is still there," some said. "It is still after us."

Others said, "Then the lion is no threat," and lived in the town still, living close to the lion and sometimes even befriending it-- and being devoured.

But a very few recognized the truth. They saw the sacrifice of the man and the lamb and loved them both. Those people went home with the man and lived safely in his house for a very long time.

Comments

Beautifully written and

Beautifully written and heart touching.
I am Madeline L.'s Omie

Anonymous | Sun, 04/06/2008

Told in true parable style -

Told in true parable style - it almost reminds me of the deal between Aslan and the White Witch.

Ezra | Sun, 04/06/2008

"There are no great men of God. There are only pitiful, sorry men whose God is great beyond measure." - Paul Washer [originally Jonathan Edwards]

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