The Expendable Servant
Once there was a middle-aged woman who, ever since she learned she would one day meet her King face to face, desired to prepare a special gift to present to Him. As she considered her life and her deeds up until the day she heard about the King, the woman sadly concluded she had nothing to offer such a great King, but the church teachers taught the woman from the Book. They taught her that the King had a special purpose for her life. They also taught her that she herself - body, soul and spirit - was more precious than anything else, priceless in value and purified by the King's own blood.
The woman believed the Book and the church teachers. She began to prepare herself as a gift for the King. She spent her resources and even traveled great distances to ensure that she herself - body, soul and spirit - would be ready on the great day when she would face her King. She also decided to seek out the King's purpose for her life.
A man came to the woman's church. The man knew the Book well. He drove a big fancy car that he said he used to serve the King. The woman desired to serve the King like the man served Him. In her church parking lot, she helped the man stock his big fancy car for the King. As she labored, the man looked upon the gift the woman was preparing for the King. The man knew the woman's gift was holy. Nevertheless, he desired it for himself. He wanted to add it to the secret collection he kept in the trunk of his big fancy car. He began to talk softly to the woman, trying to find a way to take her gift from her.
The woman was shocked and confused by the man's conversation, but answered him kindly. She trusted him and was thankful for the chance he offered her to serve the King. In his desperate obsession to steal the woman's gift, the man drove his big fancy car right over the woman and smashed her - body, soul and spirit - into the ground, but the woman still would not consider giving away her gift to him.
So, the man prepared to go to another church. Before he could drive away, the woman screamed and the church folks looked out and saw what had happened. Of course, they all righteously rushed out to help. Surrounding the man in his big fancy car, the church people speculated about what evil thing must have caused the man to have such a terrible accident. They explained to each other how vulnerable the man was and how deeply he could be wounded. They discussed how they must protect him and his big fancy car. The man became upset by all the attention, so the church people called an ambulance for him and comforted him until it arrived. Most of them rode in the ambulance with the man so he wouldn't be alone in the aftermath of the terrible accident that happened to him, and so they could pray over him for healing from his wounds and trauma.
To be equitable, the few church people that stayed behind scraped the woman up from the ground. Then they immediately turned back to the man's big fancy car. They carefully wiped the woman's blood off the man's big fancy car before it dried on so no one would be offended by it. Someone ran to get a hose and together they carefully washed the woman's blood off the church parking lot so no one would step in it on Sunday. Then the church people all carefully washed the woman's blood off their hands.
The woman stood by in shock, bleeding profusely, unable to speak. She was utterly shredded through and through - body, soul and spirit. Her gift was obliterated. No one could think of what to say to the woman. Her church pastor was too busy serving the King to help her. So the church people directed the woman to drive herself to a hospital. They instructed her not to tell anyone what happened. A couple of the church ladies sincerely wished the woman a safe journey and a complete healing. They exhorted her to be courageous and, above all, to be forgiving and never angry or bitter. The church janitor tossed the woman's blood-soaked sweater through her car window as she drove away. Together, the church people waved goodbye and praised the Lord that they had cleaned up the mess so quickly and could go back to serving the King.
The woman drove around and around, alone. She tried to make sense of what had happened. She had believed that church was a safe place. She had believed them when they taught her that she was valuable. She lost all track of time as days turned into weeks and months. She couldn't find a hospital. Neither could she find God, though she stopped at many churches. Deadly infection oozed from the woman'
s untended wounds as again and again church people looked the other way and rebuked her for getting in front of the man's big fancy car. They told her it was unfair, even cruel and vengeful, to talk about the man. They assured her that the man was sorry, wounded and suffering tremendously. They also explained that if people knew about what happened, they might stop coming to church and giving their money to maintain the man's big fancy car. Among themselves, church people speculated about why the woman caused herself so much pain. They praised God that the man was still driving his big fancy car.
After trying for months with all her might to find help, the woman finally lost all strength, hope and trust. Exhausted, she crashed, but God was with the woman. She crashed in front of a hospital where trained nurses came to her rescue. Experienced doctors dressed her wounds and assured her they were not her fault. The woman stayed in the hospital for many more months, mostly isolated in the intensive care unit. She spent all her money trying to heal from the deadly wounds inflicted by the man in his big fancy car, and the infection that had set in from their lack of care. Most days, she wondered if the wounds would ever heal.
One day the woman peered out the window at the world she used to be a part of before the man ran over her in his big fancy car. She saw the man ... he was driving by in his big fancy car. She wondered how many stolen gifts he had collected in his trunk. This thought made her very sad and angry.
She was afraid of anger because all the church people told her she must not be angry, but there came a moment when the woman realized in her heart that God was sad and angry too. That was the moment she felt a speck of hope rekindle in her soul.
To this day, no church people have ever checked on the woman. The few who think about her wonder to themselves if she ever found a hospital.
Kathy Cox - November 2, 2003