Tuesday, January 20, 2009

a parable...

My entry in The Frank "Still-Has-Yet-To-Post-A-Picture-Of-Fin-Fang-Foom-Despite-Being-Asked-By-Me-On-Multiple-Occasions" Turk Parable Challenge. (Disclaimer: though Frank's post is entitled "Wanted: Actual Writers," sadly I do not qualify. I am neither a writer, nor wanted.)

whoa, Frank--I was you I'd reconsider your whole "No-Fin-Fang-Foom" policy...F3 doesn't look like he's playin'!!!


In a town there lived a very wise and famous doctor, whose skill, expertise, and great success were renowned the whole world over. One day, three men in various parts of the town each awoke to find themselves feeling completely horrible.

The first man was a personal trainer, very wealthy and extremely well-respected throughout the region, for he had trained several Olympic and professional athletes and was himself seemingly a paragon of physical perfection. Fearing some damage to his reputation and a loss of income should he be bedridden, however, the trainer decided not to visit the doctor, instead committing himself to a more intense exercise regimen and a far more severe diet. The symptoms he'd been experiencing--while they didn't stop altogether--subsided dramatically, and the trainer continued his extreme disciplines for the next several years, until he was discovered dead of a heart attack one morning, having collapsed at his BowFlex machine.

The second man was also very wealthy, for he was an extremely successful pharmacist who also occasionally served as a distinguished guest lecturer at the local university medical school. He himself had degrees from several Ivy League schools, and had not infrequently published highly regarded articles in all the major trade publications. Having decided to check in with the doctor--one medical expert to another--he strolled in unannounced to the doctor's office one day. The doctor listened patiently, but explained to the pharmacist that he'd have to make an appointment and wait in the lobby with the other patients until the appointed time. Greatly offended, the pharmacist stormed out of the office, resolving silently that he'd never offer THAT doctor the benefit of HIS expertise again any time soon! Returning to his own practice, he began medicating his symptoms one by one. Like the physical trainer, the pharmacist began to experience some relief from his initial symptoms. However, over time these gave way to different systems that responded less well to his medications. Eventually, the pharmacist even found that the drugs he was taking sometimes caused even more pain than the sickness itself. Despairing, he eventually took his own life some years later.

The third man was homeless, unemployed, and uninsured. He'd never heard of the doctor (having no great interest in medical things), but the manager of the local soup kitchen he frequented had grown concerned, and had browbeaten and cajoled and begged him to at least try asking whether the doctor would examine him anyway. Reluctantly, the man agreed and went to the office. He waited until the receptionist at the front desk seemed to no longer be so busy. He explained his situation and his ailment as best he could, expecting more than a little to be turned away uncermoniously. To his great surprise, however, the doctor agreed to not only see him, but to treat him as well!
"But I don't have any insurance or any money!" the man exclaimed to the doctor incredulously.
"That's okay," replied the Doctor. "I can afford to treat you Myself, and I'm not worried about a malpractice suit."
"But I'm in terrible shape!"
"Of course you are! You wouldn't BE here if you weren't!"
"But I don't even know what's wrong with me!" the man exclaimed, still flabbergasted.
"That's okay, too," the Doctor said, smiling. "I'm the Physician here, and not only can I tell you exactly what's wrong with you, I can even heal you as well!"
"So it's not that serious, then?" the man asked, relaxing a bit.
"On the contrary--it's MORTALLY serious. Again, though, you don't have to worry...I am a GREAT Physician."

The man trusted the Physician and listened carefully to all he was told to do. Funnily enough, however, he wasn't asked to do anything at all, really--the Physician developed antibodies from His Own Blood that the man could feel beginning to work at once. They didn't completely eradicate the symptoms immediately, but he felt better than he ever had and he knew that over time the medicine would take its full effect.

Energized and feeling stronger than he could ever remember feeling, the man began to take better care of his physical condition. And even though the Physician insisted that the man didn't owe Him anything, the man's gratitude and joy were not to be denied--he volunteered at the office as often as he could, provided testimonials to all his friends and neighbor's of how the Physician had healed him, and for the rest of his days strove above all else to serve and honor the One Who had saved him.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mark Dever, Courtesy of The Gospel Coalition

Short, sweet, and delightfully to the point.