This is how far…

Once upon a time there was a young man of suspicious background who had an idea…


He proposed a way to repair the heartache and injustice in the world, a way that would set things right, restore relationships, help the marginalized, rouse the satisfied, strengthen the weak and humble the proud. It made sense… but it was costly for most to actually do it, to actually be that honest and open and compassionate. He decided to show them exactly how far they might have to go and what the cost might really be…

He started with the religious leaders who seemed hyper-focused on guilt, shame, and fear of their “god” and his rules. He said they were missing the point, that all the negativity they zeroed in on only led to more and more negativity and turmoil. He tried to show them the benefits of his way, even helping people who were desperate and in need. This only further angered the powerful religious people, some of whom were quite wealthy. They decided to get the government involved to stop this young man.

The government was happy to let the police beat this young man badly, hoping he would just shut up and go away. But he didn’t – he spoke truths to the governor that were unsettling. They threw him in jail while the governor considered what to do…

Meanwhile the religious leaders gathered a crowd together to demand this young man be punished. They screamed and protested outside the governor’s mansion until the governor finally relented and agreed that they’d had enough of this young man and his idealism. They scheduled his execution for later that day.

The young man didn’t protest. He didn’t plead for his life. He didn’t try to escape, fight back, or anything of the kind. He was saying, “This is how far love will go to help those who need it.” This is how far…

A month and a half later, his students were still hiding out, confused and lacking motivation to move forward. And then it finally hit them – something crystallized in their minds and hearts and they GOT IT. It was right around a national holiday where thousands came to their town to celebrate – the perfect time to keep the message of the young man alive. So they got on their soap boxes and started proclaiming the same ideals the young man had proclaimed… and people in the crowd started to get it, too.

Some of the out-of-towners decided to stick around for a while and learn more about this. Those who ran out of money were taken care of. Those who needed food were fed. Those who were sick received the help they needed. It was an amazing and thrilling time!

Unfortunately, as these things go, people lost the vision. They traded the ideals for peace with the government. They turned the ideals into just another religion, one that would ultimately oppress and shame those who still held to the ideals and practiced them. Sometimes the religious leaders would even invoke and involve the government to help them manage these who remained idealists… but the idealists didn’t care, because they remembered the actions of the young man many years ago that said, “This is how far love will go to help those who need it.” This is how far…

And so the cycle continues.

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