Lent is my favorite season of the church year. This year I’m using Ed Hays The Lenten Labyrinth: Daily Reflections for the Journey of Lent. Each day is another twist and turn as we walk through the Labyrinth of Lent. Today he tells a parable for us to ponder on our journey.
Once there was a Jewish rabbi who had a servant named Jacob. They would often ride together in a horse-drawn cart.
The rabbi was extremely fond of his wonderful horse. It was a beautiful, brown, lively animal. Once, when they were
traveling through Russia, the rabbi decided to spend the night at an inn in a small town. As was the custom, Jacob, the
servant, spent the night at the stable with the horse. Into the stable that night came a horse trader with a big bottle of
vodka. He made friends with Jacob, and they drank and drank until the early hours of the morning, when the horse
trader bought the rabb8’s horse for a song. The next morning the servant woke up horrified at what he had done. He
didn’t know what to do next for at any moment the rabbi would arrive. So he ran over, picked up the cart, placed himself
between the cart poles and began munching on the straw. The rabbi came out of the inn and said, “what is this? Where
is my horse?”
Jacob said “Horse? I’m your horse!” The rabbi said, “You must be insane! Jacob, have you lost your mind? What
has happened to my horse?” Jacob responded, “Rabbi, don’t get angry. I must make a confession to you. Many years
ago,I failed. I slipped and fell. I had sex with a woman who wasn’t my wife. What’s really bad, Rabbi is that I enjoyed it
and I wasn’t sorry. God punished me by making me a horse – your horse! For all these years I’ve
pulled your cart around and today my penance is over! Blessed be God!”
The poor rabbi who was devout said, “Well, all things are possible with God. This is amazing!” While the rabbi
was swept off his feet by this miraculous event, there was a practical problem. How could they continue their journey
without a horse? So the rabbi had Jacob wait there and went to the market. When he came to the horse traders, he
found munching on some hay. He went up and whispered in the horse’s ear, “Goodness sake, Jacob, so soon again?”
Hays writes, “Along with flexibility, creativity and humor are essential for anyone in the maze. Each of these provisions for the way (was) addressed in (this) parable.”
His words remind me of our support group Brainstormers and how we spend time sharing our struggles with humor. We understand each other and it is good to laugh together. It’s difficult sharing my challenges with someone who doesn’t have a brain injury because it often appears as if I’m putting myself down which I’m not. When one has a brain injury, flexibility, creativity and humor is crucial. I do hope God will give me widsom as I travel through this Lenten Labyrinth.