Monday, October 5, 2009

The Parable of Constraint and Circumstance

At the very moment Grace was born, Constraint took hold of one of her hands and her sister Circumstance took hold of the other and not knowing any better, Grace held tight to the hand of each sister. At times it seemed annoying. She’d find new things that she wanted to reach out and touch, to bring them closer so she could enjoy their scent, or even sometimes to taste them. But the hold Constraint and Circumstance had on her hands didn’t allow her to reach out and grasp anything else. And she never thought to let go. After all she’d never seen anyone who wasn’t holding tight to the same sisters

As she grew older the grip seemed so natural that most of the time it was actually comforting. “What if they let go?” She’d find herself thinking. “What would happen to me?” So she’d worry and hold tighter than ever. But even then there were times when she’d imagine what it would be like to have her hands free. She’d always had a secret longing to write poetry, but Constraint and Circumstance in the unspoken way they had of communicating let her know that poetry was impractical. She was meant for cooking and cleaning not reading or writing poetry.

So she put away the thoughts of poetry and went the way Constraint and Circumstance guided her without complaining. That is until one day in her late teens when a new girl, Faith, entered her cooking class with no one holding her hands. There was an audible gasp as Faith entered the room and took her seat. The teacher looked annoyed even when Faith expressed her delight at being able to take a cooking class. She’d always wanted to be a chef and this was the beginning of fulfilling her dream.

At first Grace sat bewildered unable to concentrate on what the teacher was saying. The bewilderment soon turned to curiosity and then a resolve to talk to Faith. As soon as class ended, Grace stood to move toward Faith, but found herself pulled back by the unflinching Constraint and Circumstance. Faith was leaving the room and the opportunity would soon be lost. The desire to speak to Faith burst into courage. Grace let go of the hands that had held her so long, and hurried to Faith’s side.

Seeing her approach, Faith smiled and embraced her enthusiastically. “Oh, finally a friend!” she exclaimed.

“What?” Grace asked. But as she said it, she realized she had let go. She was free. She didn’t need to ask the questions of Faith. She knew! After all these long years, all she had to do was let go.

8 comments:

Wendi said...

Very profound. You sure do have a way with words, Sherrie. :)

Anonymous said...

Absolutely terrific!! I hope this makes it into one of your books someday. We are never too old to hear this.
Cathie

Megan said...

I LOVE this! Thank you!

Cathy said...

I love Faith, 'she' is my dear friend that helps me love each new day!

SMJ said...

Wendi, Thank you! You are always so kind. As you know, I love words!

SMJ said...

Cathie, I hope so, too! Thanks.

SMJ said...

Megan, Thank you. I enjoy doing these little parables. I'm glad someone enjoys reading them.

SMJ said...

Cathy, I like her, too. Your comment made me think that I now need a parable about taking Faith's hand! Thanks!