(A parable is defined as an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. This one is truly not inspired as are the ones in the Bible. I originally wrote this about 25 years ago in a newsletter for recovering alcoholics and their families. At that time I was told that the message was a little blunt. I only wrote then and share now what I know to be true through my faith in the only God there is – the God of the Bible.)
There once was a couple whose marriage was in trouble. The husband was a very active alcoholic. His wife was a loving person who would do anything to save not only their marriage, but also the life of her husband. Unfortunately, whatever the couple attempted just made things worse. Both of them admitted things were spiraling downward and with ever-increasing speed.
One day a friend of theirs’ encouraged them to reach out for help. The words were the same as countless times before. But this time the couple listened. They attended therapy, first individually and then as a couple. And things improved.
Each began attending support group meetings and were present for as many meetings as possible. And things improved more.
As time passed, the couple’s individual and marriage relationship recoveries grew and strengthened. They began to reach out to help others out of thankfulness for the gift they had been given. They sponsored others and even opened their home to persons who were caught in situations much like the couple had once experienced to share what they had learned.
The couple often sat in their living room during free moments and talked through the tough times of the past. They also noted the vast number of blessings they had and planned on purchasing a newer, larger home with hope of beginning a sober living house in which they could help even more of the still suffering.
Then, one morning, the alarm went off and no one was there to turn it off. Their time on earth now ended, they stood before their Heavenly Father to answer the important questions.
The husband, always the bolder of the couple, gazed at the Presence in front of him and asked, “Who are you?”
I am your Heavenly Father.
“Oh, my higher power. I’ve got some questions I want to ask you. Why did I become an alcoholic?”
Because I wanted to give you a chance to know my Son. Do you know him?
The man thought for a while. “Your Son? Was he at any of my meetings?”
I sacrificed my Son to give all who believe in Him eternal life. He died for your sins and those of all others.
The wife, always the more perceptive, now spoke up. “That sounds like formal religion. We both used to attend a church but found we were much more fulfilled and comfortable at meetings. But we both knew about all the help our higher power was giving to us.”
I wrote in the Bible that I loved the world so much that I gave my Son up as a sacrifice so anyone who believes in him will inherit eternal life. Do you know my Son?
The husband broke in, “I know what you are talking about. But look at all the good we did. I got sober, we saved our marriage and I could tell you about all the people we helped. We would be planning for that sober living house right now if we weren’t here.”
And what did you do with the sobriety I gave to you? I also wrote that whoever does not believe in my Son and what he did for everyone will be condemned. Do you know my Son?
Visibly shaken, the wife responded, “Can you give us more time to get to know your Son? We are good people and we try really hard. We didn’t really mean to ignore your Son. If you would only give us a second chance …”
“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” Matthew 12:26
Our world today takes pride in reality. We want to know the whole truth about everything and then make up our minds about what we will accept. Well, the world wants the whole truth about some things.
I see God’s love throughout the Bible. I know of God’s love as he continued to offer it to me throughout my failed efforts to stop my drinking. The love shown through the sacrifice of his Son never fails. And that same love that guarantees eternal life is there for all through his Son Jesus.
That is the message of the parable. His love. I hope all of you who read this know of that love. If you do not, I would be willing to share with you what I know.
I will wait you