PARABLE OF THE CRUMB AND THE LOAF

Once upon a time a loaf of bread fell from a bakery truck and as it hit the ground a crumb broke loose. Three sparrows all eyed the crumb and swooped down to grab it, but began fighting over it.

Eventually, one of the sparrows succeeded in scooping up the crumb in its beak and flew away with it with the other two sparrows following in hot pursuit. A frenzied aerial fracas took place until the crumb was completely consumed.

The only thing these sparrows saw was the crumb. None noticed the loaf still on the ground.

Source: Daily Encounter

CONSIDER THIS

Are you wasting your life-energy squabbling over trivialities, ignoring the true riches of life that surround you?

Are you majoring in minors, wasting time on non-essential issues while the cries of the hurting and the neglected go unheeded?

 

WHO IS THE REAL MENACE?

The Ministry of Agriculture decreed that sparrows were a menace to crops and should be exterminated.

When this was done, hoards of insects that the sparrows would have eaten descended on the harvest and began to ravage the crops, whereupon the Ministry of Agriculture came up with the idea of costly pesticides.

The pesticides made the food expensive. They also made it a hazard to health. Too late it was discovered that it was the sparrows who, through feeding on the crops, managed to keep the food wholesome and inexpensive.

Source | Anthony De Mello, Heart of the Enlightened
(Image; New edition edition,1997) page 148

CONSIDER THIS

Before rushing towards what you might think would be a better solution, consider what is already in place.

 

REMEMBERING THE GIFT OF WINGS

There was a bird who loved to fly. One day, while it was high up in the air it began to rain. Its feathers became so heavy that when it tried to land, it broke its wing. Time passed, and the bird became better. It wanted to fly, but no matter how hard it tried, something inside stopped it from leaving the ground.

Day after day it tried, and day after day fear held it down. Then one day, a strong wind came and lifted it high into the sky. It opened its wings and the bird remembered as if for the very first time, that it could fly.

Source | Based on a story told in the film “Shadows in the Sun”

CONSIDER THIS

When you think that something is impossible, stop, relax, unwind, step back and slow down a bit … stop long enough to remember.

 

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AS YOU ARE

There was once a crow who did not like his feathers.

“I wish I were a peacock!” he would say.

“You are beautiful as you are!” the other crows insisted.

“How plain and dull you seem to me!” he’d complain, and fly off to admire peacocks.

The peacocks strutted about with their colorful tail feathers outstretched. To the delight of the crow, some of the peacock feathers lay on the ground when the peacocks left.

Crow flew down to the ground and stuck the feathers into his wings and tail. He attached a few sticking up from his head.

“Now I am as beautiful as a peacock,” he said.

But, when he went to join them in their strutting, the peacocks poked him and pecked him. What a fuss!

“You are not a peacock,” they said, “Don’t imitate us!”

Bruised and still dragging some broken peacock feathers in his tail, he returned home.

After all his insults, no one wanted his company!

As he sat alone, the other crows said, “It’s foolish to try and be what you’re not. Learn to love the feathers you’ve got!”

Source |  David Holt, Bill Mooney editors, More Ready-to-tell Tales from Around the World
(August House, 2005) pages 169-170

CONSIDER THIS

  • Run away from those well-intentioned helpers who want to assist you in becoming better adjusted to what you aren’t. | David Weale
  • Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.Oscar Wilde

THE PARABLE OF THE BIRDS

Once upon a time there was a man who looked upon Christmas as a lot of humbug. He wasn’t a Scrooge. He was a kind and decent person, generous to his family, upright in all his dealings with other men. But he didn’t believe all that stuff about Incarnation which churches proclaim at Christmas. And he was too honest to pretend that he did. “I am truly sorry to distress you,” he told his wife, who was a faithful churchgoer. “But I simply cannot understand this claim that God becomes man. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”

On Christmas Eve his wife and children went to church for the midnight service. He declined to accompany them. “I’d feel like a hypocrite,” he explained. “I’d rather stay at home. But I’ll wait up for you.”

Shortly after his family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window and watched the flurries getting heavier and heavier. “If we must have Christmas,” he thought, “it’s nice to have a white one.” He went back to his chair by the fireside and began to read his newspaper. A few minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound. It was quickly followed by another, then another.

He thought that someone must be throwing snowballs at his livingroom window. When he went to the front door to investigate, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the storm. They had been caught in the storm and in a desperate search for shelter had tried to fly through his window. “I can’t let these poor creatures lie there and freeze,” he thought. “But how can I help them?” Then he remembered the barn where the children’s pony was stabled. It would provide a warm shelter.

He put on his coat and galoshes and tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the door wide and turned on a light. But the birds didn’t come in. “Food will lure them in,” he thought. So he hurried back to the house for bread crumbs, which he sprinkled on the snow to make a trail into the barn. To his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs and continued to flop around helplessly in the snow. He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around and waving his arms. They scattered in every direction – except into the warm lighted barn.

“They find me a strange and terrifying creature,” he said to himself, “and I can’t seem to think of any way to let them know they can trust me. If only I could be a bird myself for a few minutes, perhaps I could lead them to safety. . . .”

Just at that moment the church bells began to ring. He stood silent for a while, listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. Then he sank to his knees in the snow. “Now I do understand,” he whispered. “Now I see why You had to do it.” 

Source | Louis Cassels,  The Parable of the Birds as told in Greg Johnson, The 25 Days of Christmas,  pages 30-31

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • They shall name him Emmanuel, which means, “God is with us.” | Matthew 1:23
  • And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. | Luke 2:7
  • For while gentle silence enveloped all things, and night in its swift course was now half gone, your all-powerful word leaped from heaven …  into the midst of the land … | Wisdom 18:14-15
  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us. |  John 1:14
  • Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me. | Matthew 25:40