The Parable of the White Horse
A good friend asked me if anyone ever made fun of me for being a Christian. They said, “Doc you’re a smart guy, and you run with a smart crowd; it seems the intellectual and bright people are often the most cynical of all.”
I think my friend is right about that cynicism. My response to the cynics is that I have been around so long now that I have seen some things that I thought just had to be bad for me work out for good. I’m smart, but I ain’t brilliant, and I try to be wise given I’m only a flawed human. But I just don’t have that kind of foresight. I don’t feel guilty for that fact, though. Except for Jesus, no human ever did. As Indie would say, “We’re only human, we can’t help it.”
I am reminded of the Parable of the White Horse. My daughter told it to me. One time a man wanted a fine white horse. He saved his money for a long time and finally got one. He taught his son to ride. They enjoyed the horse for a year or so, then one day the horse bucked and threw the boy off.
The son broke his hip. The father was enraged and shot the horse dead on the spot. Years went by. Then there was the war. The boy still limped and could not go. All the other boys in the neighborhood went off to war; none of them came home.
The father realized his prayers to own this fine white horse had been answered but he had prayed for the wrong reasons. He sat and cried.
The doctor gig is the ultimate “what’s said here stays here” profession. So, I have to write in parables and fiction; I have no choice. I am reminded of a time when I saw someone who was being done wrong, though. The man was a doctor. I was so close to this guy I couldn’t see what was to unfold.
One day I paraphrased the story to a friend. He was a musician, and had a whole lot less formal education than I have, but I consider him very wise.
I said, “I can’t believe what they’re doing to this guy; it all seems so wrong. Why are they persecuting him?”
He replied, “I don’t know Doc; they did it to Jesus didn’t they?”
With his one simple statement I realized he was correct. My perspective on the situation changed. All that was a decade ago, and now I can see it was the equivalent of when that horse threw that boy. It did seem so wrong at the time, yet turned out to be a blessing.
In time the man was able to see that even though he was temporarily wronged, the situation was far more tragic for another human being. In his own grief the man had failed to fully consider the burden another human being had to carry. Through the crucible of persecution he began to realize he should be more selfless, and to keep the other person’s perspective in mind, even more so in times of conflict.
Later he told me he prayed for forgiveness, and was able to improve this human flaw. At the time it was going on even though we were somewhat smart human beings neither of us could see what was gonna happen.
As a doc, I see so much bad I can’t fix it’ll take you to your knees. If you aren’t humble the gig will sure make you that way in a hurry. So in answer to my friend’s question, I do see cynical people, and I always say a prayer they can find peace. I don’t understand why they have to suffer. I just hold to hope their situation will get better. Old Doc is pretty smart, but I ain’t brilliant, so I have faith and do the best I can.
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