Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FEAST (07/12/18)
- TITLE: The Kindness of a Dog
By Judy Sauer
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As the palace owner approached the gated area the beggar muttered, "Have pity on me, dear sir." then he stood erect and folded one hand into the other, and pleaded, "Please, kind sir, I beg for the scraps that your dogs have not eaten," his weakened voice whispered.
The well-dressed man, in a hurried pace, passed by with his chin held high, and chest puffed out. Robed in lavish clothes and fine linens his finery included expensive purple cloth reserved for nobility.
The beggar turned his body while his eyes followed the wealthy man as he entered through the palace gates.
The man ignored the vagrant and wanted nothing to do with him. He commanded the gate attendant, "Remove that person from my sight. He is not welcomed here."
After his removal from the gate, he slowly inched his way back to the palace wall. Dogs sniffed at his odorous, diseased body, and groomed at his sores. As they licked the lesions, their tongues wiped across the man's flesh; he flinched and groaned from the horrid pain. An infection had taken hold of the sores. The lesions were the least of what concerned him; if he remained without food much longer, he would be dead. One thing, for sure, is that those animals had more kindness toward him than their owner.
Meanwhile, inside the palace, he and his many guests repeated what they had done for days; they feasted and gorged with no regard for their overgrown ballooned-out bellies. Their fine clothes were not protected as they dug into the bounty of foods and they were easily soiled. They had all but emptied the wine barrels.
They used loaves of bread to wipe the greasy food that stuck on their hands and faces. They ate like wolves; their heads frenzied back and forth after their teeth pierced the charred flesh of the gazelles. Countless roasted gazelles covered the center of the elongated banquet table that seated twenty people. Dogs gobbled up the fallen scraps which included chunks of napkin-like bread. Their own swollen bellies mirrored the gluttonous men around the table.
As the men continued their extravagant feast, one of the dogs took hold of a large chunk of food-stained bread. He scampered outside and hurried across the courtyard and headed toward the beggar. The dog's soft eyes conveyed sympathy as he gently laid the bread down for the man to eat. The man was overcome with gratitude and he devoured the sopped up crust quickly. To him, that crust of bread was a feast though his stomach yearned for more. The dog retreated to the gorge-fest and took another chunk of soiled bread crust and delivered it to the beggar who devoured the meal. The kindness this dog showed brought the man to tears.
During the overnight hours, two events occurred.
Lazarus was called home to heaven as he slept. While he had been ignored on earth, he was not forgotten when it mattered most. To loud shouts of jubilation, he was received into heaven. His flesh restored like new and was cured of all that ailed him. He feasted on the banquet of plenty that awaited his arrival.
The rich man died in his sleep also, yet he did not have the same warm reception in heaven. Instead, since he lacked kindheartedness toward the beggar on earth, he was not welcomed to his eternal heavenly home. He stayed in his burial spot on earth forever.
See Luke 16:20-22 NIV
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