Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Short End of the Stick (02/20/14)
- TITLE: The Tables Are Turned
By Lois Farrow
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Lazarus hadn’t always been here. His life had once been good, but through a series of misadventures he was now reduced to begging. Each day he was brought to this place to beg, most of the time in vain.
“Put me by the gate,” Lazarus asked. “It may be that as the servants bring in the supplies a few crumbs may drop beside me.” Also inside in the distance he could see the table groaning with food. If only he could get close enough he could snatch up a few dropped morsels, but of course he could never get inside the gate. It was a long time since his empty belly had been full, but each day he lay by the gate in hope. He pulled his scant covering tighter around him and looked searchingly at each person passing. He had certainly drawn the short end of the stick compared to these well dressed people.
Inside the large ornamental gate was a compound with ornate statues, ponds surrounded by palms, and a paved driveway leading to such a big dwelling you would think the family occupying it would get lost in its many rooms and passageways. But when you are rich, you can afford servants. Every day saw the servants cleaning and polishing, tending the gardens, and serving the food. The cooks were never still, always cooking and preparing delicious dishes for the many visitors who frequented the mansion. The rich man’s hospitality was legendary. He had no shortage of friends and acquaintances ready and willing to share in the bounty.
The rich man had no thought for the beggar who lay at his gate day after day. In fact, when he drove out in his carriage he probably didn’t even see him. And on the odd occasion when he had to walk outside, imperiously wrapping his sumptuous purple robes around himself, retinue of servants trailing behind, Lazarus was just an irritant barely registering out of the corner of his eye.
There was no food coming Lazarus way. He died at the gate as starvation at last caught up with him. No one saw the angels who came and lovingly carried him to Abraham’s side, the place of rest while waiting for the resurrection.
The rich man also died and left all his riches behind. Jesus told in his parable how he could see the despised beggar in a place of comfort and he was mortified. As he became aware of his new reality he showed concern for his brothers and family, but it was too late.
“In your lifetime you received your good things,” Abraham told him, “while Lazarus received bad things. Now he is comforted here and you are in agony, and there is a great chasm fixed between us so you cannot pass over.”
The tables were turned. While the rich man was tormented, Lazarus was comforted and fed, his sores were healed and at last he had peace.
Luke 16 19-31
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