Alternative Parables: #2 - Livid

28/10/10 | Posted by MattPage

Even as the news was still sinking in he could feel his anger fizzing its way up through his body. This was typical of his sister. Say one thing, do another. Don’t bother to think about anyone else. If something’s hard, just quit it, preferably as soon as possible.

It wasn’t exactly a surprise, in fact he’d pretty much been expecting this moment for several weeks now. After all it had been two months since the news had filtered through that her company had gone bust. Vegetarianism might have been on the increase, but it wasn’t growing at anything like the rate that was needed to sustain a chain of exclusive supermarkets.

Yet despite the fact that he’d liberally marinated her apparent failure in self-righteousness and been slow-cooking it in his mind ever since, the magnitude of his anger still shocked him somehow. This time he’d really had enough. She could get lost.

What angered him most was his mother’s reaction. His mum had been moping round the farm for weeks now, stalking her daughter on Facebook and defending her whenever he offered stinging criticism. Which was often.

And now this.

How dare she celebrate? It was less than a year since his sister had yelled “meat is murder” at their mum, as she left swearing never to return. Never mind the fact that it was the profits from the farm that had paid for the business degree which had helped her get this so called “dream job”. (he doubted she’d stuck that on her CV). She’d seen the light and was off to convert the masses, not caring how her cheap slogans might hurt her family. Celebrate? He had no intention of going.

Not that he’d mention any of this to his mum of course. He hadn’t got where he was today by letting his emotions get the better of him. He’d make up a good excuse. It’s not like they were short of things that urgently needed doing.

So he turned to watch this ageing yet radiant figure gradually work her way towards him, as if she had temporarily put her frailty to one side whilst she celebrated the joy of being able to hug her daughter once again. And the more she glowed, the more he hardened his heart. He’d been unswervingly loyal to his mother his whole life. How could he welcome back the daughter who had caused his mum so much pain?

(Based on Luke 15:11-32)

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