For the context of this parable, please read the previous blog: “An Open Letter to the YMCA“.
A wolf walked into a barnyard. The rooster was first to sound the alarm. The pigs huddled. The sheep scampered. The chickens clucked. All the commotion brought the farmer running.
“No worries,” said the wolf to the farmer. “I’m a sheep.”
“You don’t look like a sheep,” insisted the farmer. “You’re a wolf.”
“I’ve heard that all my life,” replied the wolf to the farmer. “I used to believe it. In fact, I’ve tried real hard to believe it. Now I know that’s not who I am.”
“That’s absurd,” said the farmer. “You have the eyes and teeth of a wolf. You walk like one. You talk like one. I bet you eat like one.”
“Nonsense,” assured the wolf. “I may look like one but I don’t feel like one.”
“Feel?” the puzzled farmer shot back. “What do feelings have to do with it?”
“Feelings have everything to do with it. It’s my reality. What you see isn’t who I am. I really am a sheep inside,” promised the carnivore. “Trust my feelings,” he continued. “I know myself better than you. You don’t know me. Come to think of it, stop judging me. Let me be me.”
“I’m not convinced, wolf. Feelings easily betray,” said the farmer in a tone suggesting he knew from his own experience. “Besides, I have a responsibility to protect my chickens, pigs, and sheep.”
“But I’m harmless,” insisted the wolf.
“Perhaps you are,” allowed the farmer, “but that’s not a risk I’m willing to take. Nor do I wish to encourage your faulty assumption. In fact, may I buy you a hamburger? I’d like the opportunity to try and reassure you of your wolfness.”
“I’m not sure what that word means, farmer. But I am open that your concern for me and your barnyard is genuine.”
So, off the farmer and wolf went for lunch. We don’t know how their conversation went but what we do know is peace returned to the barnyard. And the sheep, the pigs, and the chickens were reminded again how thankful they were for a farmer willing to do his job.
Pastor Rich Hamlin
January 21, 2016