Good friends encourage you to do good things. I was recently encouraged to join a group of friends passing out tracts in downtown Chicago the day of the St. Patric’s Day parade. As sometimes happens, this opened up conversation with a man who wanted to talk about spiritual things. I had trouble discerning if he was really seeking the Lord or if just loved to debate, but either way it showed me that I needed to be better able to explain why there is suffering in the world. So, while it didn’t come to me soon enough to share it with this dear man in Chicago, I would like to share this parable here:
Say folks come to live in my house. Since I am loving, I do not force them to eat everyday – I give them the choice. Some choose not to eat and there is sickness, malnutrition, and even death in my house. I plead with them to eat and assure them there will always be a place for them at my table.
Someone looks in the window, sees the suffering and says, “She is such a mean, terrible person to allow that to happen in her house!” Someone else looks in the window and realizes the sickness is the result, somewhere along the line, of choosing to reject my love.
I would be interested to know how each of you would you revise or expound on this parable. Feel free to leave a comment.