A Tale of Two Very Ill Men

This is a tale of two very ill men. Each man lived alone. Neither felt well enough to cook for himself. For several days, late in the day, both of their doorbells would ring. Upon answering the door both found a hot meal, wrapped in a towel, secure in a cardboard box on the front porch. Both men brought the hot meal into their home, set it upon their table and enjoyed the feast.

Upon getting better the first man reflected, “I’m sure a lucky man that someone would bring me food. But then again, I’m a good person, and that’s the reward you get for living a decent life, good things come your way.”

The second man reflected, “I sure am a blessed man that someone has cared enough to take care of me like this. I think I know who this benevolent person is – my close friend. The meals are familiar recipes I’ve enjoyed in their home and at potluck gatherings we’ve both attended. Even the towels they’re wrapped in look familiar, for I’ve seen them hang on a towel rack in their kitchen. I’m so thankful. I’ll be returning the empty, washed dishes and towels with great gratitude and the promise to do the same for someone else someday soon.”

When we reflect on the good we have in life do we feel lucky or even deserving? Or when we reflect on the good we have in life, do we feel grateful to the Ultimate One and the human “angels” who put it at our doorstep, even though we’re not deserving of such blessings? Do we believe in Him and know Him well enough to recognize that all good things come from Him? Then, too, are we compelled to pay it forward?

I made up the tale of the two sick men, but you and I are also making up our own story as we go along in life. Which of the two men’s tales will our life’s story parallel?

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights.” James 1:17


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