Thursday, January 01, 2009
For your reference, here is Wikipedia's somewhat-faulty summary of the genre. Rather than debate the faults of the thing, use that as your point of reference, and then you go ahead and write a parable a week to post each Monday in Jan 2009.
I'll post mine each Monday, and you can link to your parables in my comments section; on Tuesday each week, I'll pick the ones which I liked best to feature on my front-page.
Here's a warmup:
There was this guy I worked with who was telling me he thought Christians should shut up about the right-to-die issue because it's evil and self-centered to go to the extreme lengths of keeping someone alive on a machine. So I told him that my wife and I used to live in Wisconsin, in a town called Manitowoc. Manitowoc has a great full-service marina (allegedly the only one on Lake Michigan), and is a great place to live in the summer. The lake does a really swell job of keeping the temperature in Manitowoc enjoyable about 6 months out of the year -- 60's in the daytime, and 40's at night.
The problem with Manitowoc is that in the winter, it is far enough north (like Green Bay) that many nights dip way below zero -- like -20°F and -30°F . That's cold. In fact, it is so cold that if you don't have a heater, you're probably going to freeze to death.
I can remember one week in particular when we lived there that the temperature did not get above 5°F. That’s cold – so cold that salt won’t work on the streets and sidewalks, so everything is just frozen over. That's so cold, in fact, that you can hardly even make a snowman because the snow has little or no cohesion -- the flakes don't have any dampness to stick together, so they stay a fine powder. Even the air has zero humidity -- which you can feel in your nostrils.
I was sure glad, during that week, that I could get up and turn the heater on for myself – because if I couldn’t, I’d be dead right now. He laughed and said sacrastically that this might be a good thing; but I pointed out my kids would be dead, too, as would my wife. I think it’s amazing that I wouldn’t be here right now except for the fact that a machine kept me and my family alive during those cold weeks in Manitowoc.
Of course, even though I couldn’t have possibly kept myself warm those weeks when the temperature was too cold, at least I could feed myself. Thank God I didn’t need a machine to keep me warm and to feed me. Who would have bothered to turn my machine on if I needed to be kept warm and also to be fed?