A Modern Parable: A Widow's Son And Glass Tigers

 
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Today, I wanted to share something different. Let’s call it an experimental day. Rather than the usual blog I’ve written in the past, I wanted to share a (very) short story I wrote a few months ago and a Bible verse that inspired it. It’s part of a larger set of stories that I wrote about a Magician and his new apprentice named Jung Hwa who, together, tend after a vineyard owned by the Magician. I know it’s a little different, but I’ve personally had a conviction that the things I enjoy (like writing or swimming) would be that much sweeter if I had Christ at the center of it. And what’s more, I feel more and more that my love for Christ can (and ought to) be expressed in more creative and personal ways. Likewise, the passage Luke 7:12-15 means a lot to me and is definitely one of my favorite in the whole Bible. Hopefully, it will be a blessing to you today. #ChristRulesEverythingAroundMe

As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. (Luke 7:12-15)

One autumn day, Jung Hwa was weeping on a bench to the side of the vineyard's main path. 

The Magician came to him. "What's wrong, son?" 

Jung Hwa wiped his eyes and turned away. "I'm ashamed to say, Master. You will think me as weak."

"You've walked with me for many months now. There is no shame between two friends." So Jung Hwa turned back to the Magician, his eyes lowered to the plowed field. In his hands were the shards of a glass tiger.

"I’ve carried this figurine with me every day, the only thing left from home. Today, it slipped out my pocket while I tended to the vines. Now, all that’s left are these broken pieces."

"And…?"

“It was the last gift from my mother before she passed.” He paused. A slight breeze brushed against the two before he resumed:  “Since coming here, I've only thought of our work. But I always kept the tiger in my pocket. Now that it's broken, what do I have left?"

The tears returned anew. The Magician and his apprentice sat together for some time As the young man's tears subsided, the Magician took the glass shards from his apprentice. At first, Jung Hwa held onto the pieces, but relented at last.

"It is good you feel this. Just let the wind breathe through you." The moment lingered in the air. Then, the Magician blew onto the broken pieces and, to the young man's shock, threw them into the field.

A roar clapped through the vineyard. A great tiger jumped from the vines in front of master and apprentice. For a moment, it locked eyes with the young man. It roared once more and dashed into the neighboring forest. The Magician got up.

"Son, we have work to do just as tigers have jungles to rule. Let us not forsake the harvest for broken glass.”


Daniel Lee (@prosthhoplee) is currently a resident at UCLA School of Dentistry. He loves what-if scenarios, short stories, one-on-one conversations, crown preps, and people who feel free to be themselves. He openly dreams of becoming the first dentist, minister, rapper, and comedian combo for Jesus. Shoutout to Mimi Lee, the best mom in the world.

 
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