a potter’s parable

Once upon a time there was a man named John to whom was given many gifts. John was given the brain it took to think about and solve problems and he used that brain to get a good job.  John was given a body to carry his brain around and he used it to go to and solve problems.  People paid John a lot of money to solve those problems and so another gift was the money that came from he first two gifts.  John was given a soul which made meaning out of life and set the body, the mind and the influence into a context of productivity and encounter.  Life was good for John.

Then The One who gave John all these things wanted a deeper relationship with John, so he sent part of himself in the form of a man who would encounter the planet in such a way as to open doorways between John and The Provider and everyone else.  And John liked being friends with The Provider because he felt less disconnected from life and further meaning was given to his body, his mind and his ability to earn money and respect which in turn, gave him comforts and luxuries like clean water and daily bread and a bed in an enclosed place.

Over time, John began to take his bread, water, home, bed and interesting life for granted and no longer saw it as a gift from The Provider.  He felt he deserved it all, which immediately curdled the notion of “gift” into an entitled hand-over.  So John began to spend his gifts on things which inflated the very ego which drove the first wedge into his friendship with The Provider.  And the more he did this, the more he experienced shame.  And the more shame he experienced, the faster he worked and the more he purchased in order to not-feel the shame.  And he began to spiral into a terrible cycle which some people called hell.

One day, John married a kind, wise woman,and had a daughter.  His daughter and he were walking along the road and encountered a man without a home, without bread and without water.  She gave some money to the man.  Later his daughter gave money to a group of people who do kind and good things in the world for those who suffer.  Her mother taught her to give these things away. John watched.

Slowly, John came back to his senses and began to experience the joy of giving things away.  And the more he gave away, the more he could see what he had, and how marvelous was his life.  He enjoyed his brain.  He enjoyed his body.  He enjoyed his soul.

John spent half of what he possessed on others and John began, slowly to see his daughter, his wife and his life again.  John’s shame became smaller and his joy became bigger. And John lived.  And many others who were struggling to live no longer struggled because John gave some of what he had to them.  And philanthropy was born on the planet. And the planet and John and many people lived happily ever after. And all the fundraisers became potters and so there were many bowls which contained the gifts people gave and many pitchers which held the water and wine people gave and many plates which gave the bread people gave and ceremonial purple containers which held oil for healing . And then everyone lived happily ever after.  Even the fundraisers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *