The Parable Explained

I loved reading your interpretations of the parable I posted a couple days ago. There’s no right meaning I guess. But there is a meaning I had in mind.

The little girl is me. I come to Christ and he tells me I can be more – I can be like him. He sees something of himself in me like the maestro stroking the little girl’s slender fingers with his own also-thin thumb. The “seed” of Christ is in me, Paul says, waiting to be developed.

Now there are many practices God uses to develop Christ in me, or, as Paul put it, “conform” me to the “image of the Son.” I can become more and more like the maestro. I will.

(Every metaphor breaks down and this one does here, because while I do participate in my own becoming more like Christ, I have no real power in it. That is supplied by God alone. I could not save myself from the penalty of sin and I sure can’t save myself from the power of sin.)

As I listen to Christ I hear him say I should “pray.” So I do. I practice practice practice prayer.

And neglect rest, service, submission.

John Wesley prayed for four hours every morning, and more throughout his day, and his wife left him after fifteen years of marriage. Some guess that sexual dysfunction was to blame, or Wesley’s workaholic tendencies, or his famously fierce temper. Wesley and his wife needed more than prayer.

I read that Jesus cared for the poor. I practice practice practice simplicity and generosity.

And I sometimes find that I lose patience with my kids, I become defensive with my wife, I hurt a stranger with hastily written words.

This is practicing one thing while neglecting others. Prayer, but not rest. Compassion, but not peace.

The development of the maestro in us is stunted. We get stuck.