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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Gifts (of the Spirit or service) (11/22/07)

TITLE: And Thomas Wept
By Laurie Walker


The sack rattled the rickety table as their boss hoisted it up. Beautifully wrapped packages emerged one after another, no two alike. His three servants sat a little straighter, eyes wide and mouths ajar.

The boss arranged each package into three piles and turned to the first servant.

“John, you have proved a most valiant cattleman. The best I’ve ever had. To you I give these three gifts.”

John ripped into the first package and pulled out a wooden flute. John put it to his lips. There was no semblance of a tune in his amateurish attempts. The boss laughed and patted John on the shoulder.

“You need some practice. Open the next one.”

The second package contained a French/English Dictionary. John’s eyes lit up. He flipped through the pages, occasionally stopping to butcher a word or two.

His last gift held a set of colored pencils and a pad of sketching paper. He looked up, puzzled. The boss simply smiled.

“Trust me,” he said before turning to the second servant. “Paul, you have worked hard as assistant baker these last few years. These two gifts are for you.”

The two packages stood a good three feet high. Paul cautiously worked the paper from the first box. From out of its depths he pulled the largest bakers hat any of them had ever seen. Paul couldn’t believe it. Like a fish his mouth moved but nothing came out.

“Yes Paul. Hector is retiring, and I think you’d make a wonderful head baker.”

The second box held a smattering of unusual books. A few titles were: Counseling for Dummies, Troubled Teens, Drowning Your Sorrows in Brownies, and The Official Guide to Emotionally Baking Your Way Better.

As Paul perused the curious collection, the boss turned to his last servant.

“Thomas. You have been my personal assistant for many years now. I know it hasn’t always been easy. Hopefully this will compensate.”

Thomas looked on in despair. One box remained and it was no larger than a cricket. What could this insignificant carton possibly hold? Didn’t he deserve something more?

He took the gift, attempting to appear happy.

“I’d rather wait to open it, sir,” he said.

The boss looked disappointed, but left his friends to enjoy their new gifts. Thomas took the puny present into his bedroom. After fingering it for several seconds he shoved it underneath his bed.

Several months passed. Though John discovered he’d probably never make a great musician it didn’t stop him from giving mini-concerts for local children. The French language came surprisingly easy to him. As he began to master French John decided to try Spanish, and then Italian. Most remarkable was his hidden talent: John was an artist.

Astonished at how easily managing a kitchen came, Paul flourished under his new role. Guided by his gifts he began counseling troubled teens. He discovered they opened up far more readily with a brownie in hand. In no time he realized what they really needed was something productive to do with those hands. Soon his kitchen was full of enthusiastic, happy workers.

Every night Thomas pulled out the hateful little box, playing with it for several minutes before tossing it back under the bed. His resentment to his boss, his friends, and his life grew at an alarming rate. Didn’t he deserve the same happiness the others received from such wonderful gifts?

One day Thomas began packing. As though he knew, the boss appeared at his bedroom door. Several wordless seconds passed before he entered and sat on a chair. “You never opened my gift.”

Thomas reached under the bed. With a huff he handed the tattered little package back to the boss and hoisted his suitcase off the bed.

“Don’t you even want to know what was in it?”

Thomas paused in the doorway, head cocked.

The boss stood beside his assistant. He opened the box and pulled out a tiny bottle. “It’s faith mixed with God’s Love. Of all my servants I thought you deserved this precious gift.”

The suitcase fell from Thomas’ hand.

“Thomas, you could have blessed so many lives. Just because the gift seems small… John and Paul have found happiness in sharing their gifts, but you-” The boss shook his head. “You hid yours and now I must take it away.”

Thomas looked on in disbelief as the boss slowly walked back towards the main house, meeting John along the way. The Master held out a little bottle.

And Thomas wept.

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This article has been read 861 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 11/29/07
Awesome, awesome allegory. Love the little bottle at the end.
Lisa Graham11/30/07
Very creative piece, and so thought-provoking! Sometimes, we get so busy lamenting about not having certain certain gifts that we run the risk of squandering and not sharing the gifts we do have.
Chrissi Dunn11/30/07
I love this well presented update on the parable of the talents. It was extremely well written and creative.
Laury Hubrich 12/01/07
Very nice. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.
Emily Gibson12/01/07
Very wise message indeed and very well presented.
LauraLee Shaw12/04/07
“Thomas, you could have blessed so many lives. Just because the gift seems small… John and Paul have found happiness in sharing their gifts, but you-” The boss shook his head. “You hid yours and now I must take it away.”

Ok, how this struck a HUGE chord within me! So many times as an upfront vocalist has the tech person turned down my mic (or at least turned up the reverb) when needed for my off key moments. And when I've performed as an actor, the stage manager has slipped a prop that I have lost or forgotten. The gift of helps and service is so often overlooked but deserves a standing ovation. :) I believe that all of heaven is already giving them one.
Dee Yoder 12/04/07
Beautiful story that is beautifully written. I love the characters and the Boss, and the gifts. Just a wonderful story to read.
Temple Miller12/04/07
Wow! Awesome parable.
Shelley Ledfors 12/04/07
Fabulous! A very creative story which presents an important message. Well done!
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/04/07
This is an outstanding story, so awesomely written, parallelling the parable of the talents.
william price12/04/07
Ouch! Why'd you do that. Thanks for the much needed message. Very well written too. God bless.
Sheri Gordon12/06/07
Congratulations on your 3rd place. This is really, really good. I love the gifts that were in that little bottle -- seemingly so small, but in reality so very precious. Great job with the topic.
Peter Stone12/07/07
Congrats on your placing. This was a lovely retelling of the parable of servants not using their talents/gifts.