an urban parable

One fine Tuesday evening,

a man went walking through an urban park. It was picturesque. The water was placid, the breeze delicate and light. People were about. There was an unusual ambience of elation. Unknown to the man, they were waiting for him, lurking in the dark. He didn’t know what was to come. As he came around a quiet bend in the cobblestone path, he was grabbed, thrown to the ground, glasses awkwardly hanging off one ear. He could barely see, crying out for help, they beat him, took anything of value and stripped him down to nothing. The drubbing continued. They laughed as they pummeled his back and disfigured his face. The man thought of his daughter. He thought of how he would miss her innocent smile and that goofy way she played with her eyebrow.

darkness falls…

One fine Wednesday morning,

a Pastor went briskly walking through an urban park. He was known for his passionate sermons. His face would redden with fervour as he exhorted the people. As he went walking he came across a mangled body thrown into the bushes, the movement of breathing nearly imperceptible. Thinking to himself: “That person may have aids for all I know and I have so much to do today” he turned around and walked the other way mutterring about how crime has been worsening as of late.

This same Wednesday,

a man went walking angrily through an urban park. He was known in the church as the wise elder, the one people would come to for advice. Having just fought with his wife, he stomped along and came across a mangled body thrown into the bushes, the movement of breathing nearly imperceptible. Thinking to himself: “Well, he’s probably a drug dealer and deserves what he got” he sped up his pace, walking as far away as possible muttering about his wife’s ignorance.

Later on that Wednesday,

a man went walking introspectively through an urban park. He was known as the unwanted import, having recently immigrated from a country most wanted their leaders to destroy. As he went walking, questioning why he ever left everything he knows to come to this seemingly Godforsaken country he came across a mangled body thrown into the bushes, the movement of breathing nearly imperceptible. Moving immediately to the body, he called out for help. Realizing no help was coming, he heaved the man’s body onto his shoulders and proceeded to carry him to the street to his car. Gently laying the man down, he took him to the hospital. But recovery would be long and the costs of care would be high. Barely able to keep himself fed, he paid for all the costs of the stranger until he fully recovered.
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