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The rest of the story: Parable of the tent lady

Those of you who responded – your parables are wonderful! The Lord is beautifully creative in you – I, for one, saw Jesus as I read them. I hope you read them all. Now, as Paul Harvey says, “for the rest of the story” – the reality behind the picture. When we lived in Charlott…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Those of you who responded – your parables are
wonderful! The Lord is beautifully
creative in you – I, for one, saw Jesus as I read them. I hope you read them all.

Now, as Paul Harvey says, “for the rest of the story” – the reality
behind the picture. When we lived in Charlottesville, VA
in the mid 80’s, we had a nice duplex a little over a mile’s bicycle ride from
campus. Karen and I would take walks
with our toddlers around the block.

One home in our quiet, suburban neighborhood stood out. While all the other homes were nice looking
with well-manicured lawns, this one yard was overgrown and jungle-like.

Later, we learned the story.
A couple used to live in a home there.
One year, the husband died and the wife was left with the mortgage
payments. When she was unable to keep up
with them, the bank decided to repossess the house. But she refused to go and a court case
ensued. When this turned nasty, the lady
went off the deep end and blew up the house.

The bank gave up the case and the woman continued to live in
the basement and in a station wagon parked out front during the years we lived
in Charlottesville.

I was in Charlottesville
a couple of months ago and, curious about how the story ended, I drove by to see
what had happened. To my amazement, the
woman was still there. A small tent had
been pitched out front with a wheel chair next to it. I saw her in the wheel chair going down the
street.

20 years had passed and, improbably, her defiance of
authority and convention remained.

How many of us, like this poor, blessed, solitary woman, have
made a monument of our pain and bitterness and then chosen to live in it,
eventually becoming crippled and isolated by it?

I say bury the pain, forgive, and choose life.

Any thoughts? More
photographic parables to follow.

Comments (2)

  • it is amazing the way we can allow bitterness and resentment to rule our lives and cripple us. Praise the Lord that we can give Him our troubles…His yoke is easy and his burden is light.

  • Hmmmm… That is not at all how I expected the story to end. Bitterness is definitely not the Kingdom of God. I’ve been there. He who is free, is free indeed! Great story Seth. Thank you for the perspective. I look forward to the next…

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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