Thursday, May 16, 2013

"There Once Lived An Ugly, Hunchback Dwarf"

     I have shamelessly purloined this story from a book written by St. Richard Wurmbrand, published by 'The Voice Of the Martyrs,' titled The Midnight Bride. (I have also shamelessly canonized this blessed man, although the Church on Earth has not gotten around to this matter yet.  And being guilty of the twin sins of theft and presumption against a saint, I beg his forgiveness.)

     Here is the story, and his commentary, in his own words.

     The following is one of the oldest sermon illustrations used in the Christian church.  It also tests one's understanding of the Christian life.

     There once lived an ugly, hunchback dwarf.  No one ever invited him to a party.  No one showed him love or even attention.  He became disillusioned with life and decided to climb a mountain and throw himself from its peak into the abyss.

     When he ascended the mountain, he met a beautiful girl.  He talked to her and discovered that she was climbing the mountain for the same purpose.  Her suffering was at the other extreme.  She had everyone's attention and love, but the one she loved had forsaken her for another girl, one with riches.  She felt life had no meaning for her any longer, so they decided to make the ascent together.

     While they climbed, they met a man who introduced himself as a police officer in search of a very dangerous bandit who had robbed and murdered many people.  The king had promised a large reward to the person who captured him.  The police officer was very confident:  "I will catch him because I know he has a feature by which he can be recognized.  He has six fingers on his right hand.  The police have been looking for him for years.  For the last two or three, nothing has been heard of him, but he must pay for a multitude of past crimes."

     The three climbed the mountain.  Near its peak was a monastery.  Its abbot, although he had become a monk only recently, had quickly attained great renown for saintliness.  When they entered the monastery, he came to meet them.  You could see the glory of God in his face.  As the girl bowed to kiss his right hand, she saw that he had six fingers.  With this, the story ends.

     Those who hear this story are perplexed.  It can't finish like this!  What happened to the dwarf, the girl, the policeman?  Was the criminal caught?

     The story's beauty is that it does finish here.  Something beautiful has happened:  A criminal hunted because of his many robberies and murders has become a great saint, renowned for his godly life.  All the rest is of no further interest.  The great miracle has been performed.  Christ has been born in the heart of a man of very low character.

*       *       *

     A few months ago, I posted something else about Pastor Wurmbrand.  You can read it here.

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