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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Fellowship (among believers) (10/11/07)

TITLE: The Cobbler's Guest: A Story for Telling
By Karen Wilber


In a tiny corner of the smallest village in the kingdom, there lived a cobbler. Though his back was bent and his hands were gnarled, his twinkling eyes bespoke a merry heart. Each evening he took his daily earnings to the market and purchased a simple meal. On the way home he often invited a friend or two to join him for supper.

One evening the king's carriage was delayed returning home to the castle and he happened upon the cobbler's shop. As the carriage approached, the king heard laughter and music issuing through the open door and bid his driver stop so that he could listen awhile. Inside the cobbler's shop, the woodcutter was telling stories. The king crept out of his carriage to listen outside the window. As the king drew closer, the tailor took out his violin and began to play a joyful tune. The cobbler and the woodcutter joined in, their voices raised in a chorus of praise. The king wished he could join them, but he was late for a banquet in his honor.

The next evening the king disguised himself in a commoner's cloak and returned to the cobbler's shop. He peered through the window as the cobbler and his friends prayed over their evening meal. The king observed that there were four places set at the table, though there were only three men present. When the cobbler and his guests finished their meal, they sat before the fire as the woodcutter told stories and the tailor played his violin.

The next morning the king ordered his carriage to take him to the cobbler's shop. Upon entering, the king asked the cobbler, “You are poor, yet you live more richly than any king. How is this possible?”

The cobbler replied, “My supper is simple. My companions are humble. All except for one man. It is he who brings richness and joy to us every night.”

The king was puzzled, “Who is this man? Tell me, so that I might invite him to my table. My supper is sumptuous, yet sticks in my throat like stale bread. My guests are wealthy, yet impoverished of spirit. Tell me, that I might meet this man. Is he the tailor? Is he the woodcutter?”

“Neither.” the cobbler replied, “Each night, when we pray, we invite Jesus to join us. It is he who makes our fellowship complete. Though he hasn't yet come to sit in the place I've set for him, I know he's here all the same.”

That evening, another place was set at the cobbler's table.

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This article has been read 3162 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 10/19/07
Oh, I LOVE this. Little stories like this always bless me, and you have done an amazing job of setting the scene and sharing your message. Your last line is absolutely perfect.
Joy Faire Stewart10/19/07
Very interesting story and love its message. The descriptions are very vivid. Great job!
LauraLee Shaw10/21/07
This was a well written story that really held my interest. Great job writing!
Sharlyn Guthrie10/21/07
What a unique, yet extremely relevant portrayal of Christian fellowship. Well done.
Lynda Schultz 10/23/07
Great story. Great lesson.
Betty Castleberry10/24/07
Excellent. This packs a powerful punch, yet it reads simply enough that most can understand it. Love the fairy tale feel of this. Brilliant work.
Marty Wellington 10/25/07
Nicely done. You achieved a lot in this short piece that spoke to our souls and encouraged our hearts. Wonderful sense of place. Congratulations!
Sheri Gordon10/25/07
Congratulations on your highly commended. This is a really good story, and very well written. Nice job with the topic.