The parable of The Sower; The parable of The Hidden Treasure and The Pearl, O-woo! The list is long about the great parables Jesus taught. He made them to have earthly settings, but heavenly meanings. Jesus’ goal was to bring people back to God through illustrations they were familiar with.
Whenever I read Jesus’ parables, memories about my dead Uncle comes to my mind. I begin to think about Uncle Tom’s wise words, though it’s now almost a decade after a fatal accident in which he sustained head injuries, resulted in him joining The Father in Heaven.
It strengthens me many times when I remember his farewell words as he lay in agony on his deathbed. He told me to, “Treasure the Treasures of God.” He was such a very talented and inspirational gentleman who taught The Gospel to children through jokes. His funny behavior in the whole village earned him the nickname, ‘The Gospel Jokesmith.’
One chilly winter in the evening, just a fortnight before Uncle kissed goodbye to Earth, my village friends and I were sitting in Uncle’s round and thatched hut used as a kitchen. As we ‘embrace and caress’ a little fire flaming at the center of the hut, I asked for some jokes.
“Ok, Children,” smiled Uncle rubbing his hands against each other before the fire for warmth. He swung back and forth on his old styled rocking chair and looked at us.
He proceeded, “You’re all aware that I have been a bus driver for a long time now. This Job has made me to mix ‘n’ mingle with different people of different places,” he nodded with a little smile melting again on his wrinkled and bearded face.
I stared at him with bated breath of zeal, “ Uncle, tell us more about some of those people you’ve met,” I asked amongst applauses from my friends.
Uncle nodded and began to narrate one of his Bus driving stories as we all listened attentively.
“Once upon a time,” He cleared his throat; “ I was driving the bus in some faraway country. A strange woman flagged me down. She was clad in tattered clothes and looked hapless. She had two traveling bags laid on her head. She looked very tired and exhausted because the luggage she had was very heavy,” he paused to take a sip of water.
Uncle continued, “ I screeched to a halt and the woman boarded, with her luggage still on her head. I told her to take her baggage to the boot, but she frowned at me and scolded me, telling me to leave her alone to mind her own business,” he paused.
We all laughed. “Sounds funny, hmm,” I said, “ So what happened next?” I asked eagerly.
Uncle shook his head in sorrow, “ It’s amazing to this day. She refused to put down her luggage. Imagine that she traveled the whole five hour journey standing in the aisle of The Bus with her luggage on top of her head,” he smiled.
We laughed even more, “ So, she must have been crazy,” I uttered, “ Common sense should have told her to remove the luggage off her head the moment she stepped into The Bus.” I suggested.
Uncle gave me a glance. “ That’s brilliant Son,” He patted my back, “ But don’t let this Joke be just a Joke. Allow it to be part of your Heaven Treasures,” he advised.
I shook my head in amazement, “ What do you mean Uncle?” I asked.
“Well,” He heaved a sigh, “ Many are times we forget that we live and travel in and with Jesus when burdens are upon us. Instead of allowing Jesus to carry our burdens, we opt to deal with them on our own. We must offload all our loads to Jesus and let him carry them on our behalf, while we sit, relax and enjoy our journey to Heaven to get real rest,” He smiled, “ So do you now know what I mean?” he asked.
I nodded, “ That’s great Uncle,” I chuckled, “What a joke?” I asked.
Uncle stood up and outstretched his hands, “ That’s it for today Kids. Let us pray and go to sleep.”
We sang the famous hymn, ‘ Amazing Grace,’ and then dismissed.
A treasured treasure can’t be forgotten. Though Uncle is long dead, I still thank God for the well treasured parabolic Jokes he shared with the little ones, the children.
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