Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Rabbi's Heartbeat: a short story

Parables are word-pictures used to convey timeless truths in simple ways. Consider this one for wherever you are in the journey today...

"A pious jewish couple married with great love. Their greatest hope was to have a child so their love could walk the earth. But there were difficulties.
And since they were very pious, they prayed and prayed and prayed until---lo and behold, the woman conceived. And nine months later a delightful boy came rumbling into the world.

They named the child Mordecai. He was rambunctious, zestful, gobbling down the days and gulping the nights. The sun and moon were his toys. He grew in years and wisdom and grace, until it was time to go to the Synagogue and learn the Word of God.

The night before his studies were to begin, his parents sat down Mordecai and instructed him on the importance of God’s Word. They told Mordecai that without the Word of God he would be an autumn leaf on the winter wind. And He listened wide-eyed.

BUT the next day Mordecai never arrived at the synagogue. Instead he found himself in the Woods, Swimming in the lake & Climbing the trees.

When he returned home that night, His parents were beside themselves and everyone in the village knew of his shame. But they had no idea what to do.
So they brought in the behavior modificationists to modify Mordecai’s behavior, until there was no behavior of Mordecai that was not modified. And they went to bed knowing Mordecai would go to synagogue to learn the Word of God.

And the next day Mordecai found himself in the Woods again, Swimming in the lake & Climbing the trees.
So they called in the psychoanalysts to analyze and unblock blockages for Mordecai to unblock.

Nevertheless, he found himself the next day in the Woods again, Swimming in the lake & Climbing the trees.
Mordecai’s parents grieved for their beloved son. Sorrowful and without hope.

And it happened at the same time that the Great Rabbi came to stay in the village. He was an imposing, somewhat fearsome man, revered by all. So Mordecai’s parents humbly took him to the Rabbi and told their sad tale. The Rabbi replied simply, ‘Leave the boy with me, and I will have a talking with him.’
It was bad enough that Mordecai would not go to the synagogue. But to leave their beloved son alone with this lion of a man was most unsettling. But they had come this far, and one does not easily dismiss the command of the great Rabbi, so they left the boy and returned home to wait.

Now Mordecai stood in the hallway, and the Great Rabbi stood in his parlor. He beckoned, ‘Boy, come here.’ Trembling, Mordecai approached the great man.
‘Put down your belongings,’ the Rabbi directed, and Mordecai did.
And then the Great Rabbi picked him up & held Mordecai silently against his heart for a very long time.
At dusk, Mordecai’s parents came to take him home.

The next day Mordecai went to the synagogue to learn the Word of God. And when he was done, he went to the Woods. And the WORDS of the woods became one with the Word of God, which became one with the words of Mordecai. And he Swam in the lake. And the WORDS of the lake became one with the Word of God, which became one with the words of Mordecai. And he climbed the Trees. And the WORDS of the trees became one with the Word of God, which became one with the words of Mordecai.

And Mordecai grew up to be a great man himself. People seized by panic came to him and found peace. People who were without anybody came to him and found communion. People with no escape came to him and found a way out. And when they asked how he came to possess God’s Word so powerfully, he said, ‘I first learned the Word of God when the Great Rabbi held me silently against His Heart’

-story adapted from Brennan Manning book "Posers, Fakers, & Wanabees" pages 144-147
"It was a simple thing for a boy like me
To pray a prayer and then believe
Those were simple times, how times change
Boys grow up and life complicates
I am older but am I wiser?
Has my simple heart grown colder?
Oh, simple heartbeat in me until I can see
A simple heart will set me free to let extraordinary things
Flow through this ordinary heart of simplicity..."

Simple Heart LYRICS by Geoff Moore

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