So I’ve been thinking. Why does Jesus do most of his theology in stories while the rest of us write it in a style as unfathomable as a car manual (and often with a comparable level of excitement)? I don’t know the answer to this question, except to suggest that Jesus was much, much better at it than we are.
Not to be deterred however, I have given it a go.
There was a man who had a young son. This little boy was the joy of his life and he loved him very much.
One day, the boy put a polystyrene ball from a beanbag up his nose. He put it so far up that it wouldn’t come out, and his mum and dad were too scared to try and get at it with anything else in case they hurt him.
So the man took his son to the doctor’s. But they couldn’t do anything either, in fact they only made it worse and got the boy very upset.
So the man took his young boy to the hospital. They had to wait in the Emergency Department for hours. The little boy didn’t even know what the problem was, so he was very restless and wanted to play outside. But his dad knew that if the little ball went down his throat it might block his airway, so they stayed and waited, and stayed and waited.
After waiting a very long time they saw someone who decided the little boy would have to go into surgery to get the ball out. This meant more waiting rooms and more waiting. The little boy was patient and very brave, because he wasn’t allowed anything to eat and he hadn’t even had breakfast and now it was after lunchtime!
The boy was doing some colouring when he dropped a crayon on the floor. Bending over to pick it up he banged his head on the table as he tried to stand up. The little boy lost the plot and started to wail at the top of his lungs. It was all too much for him. As his dad picked him up to comfort him, the boy began hitting his dad on one side of the head and then the other. He did it again and again and again, swinging and hitting as hard as he could. He was hungry and tired and confused and his head really hurt. He didn’t know what else to do, he felt so lost.
So what did the father do? Did he growl at the boy? Did he grab his hands and stare at him with angry eyes? Did he put the boy down and walk away?
He held the boy and let him hit him across the face again and again. For the dad knew how hard life had been for his little son that day. He knew things had happened that the wee boy couldn’t control or comprehend, so he waited for the boy to finish lashing out and he waited with an aching heart full of compassion.
Then he pulled his son close to himself and as the boy laid his head on his dad’s shoulder and sobbed his father whispered,
‘I love you, I know it’s been hard but it’s going to be ok. I’m not angry. I love you.’
Over and over again.
Soon after the boy went and got the little ball taken out of his nose. Then the dad and his little son went and got a milkshake and a fluffy to celebrate.