A Friendship Parable by: Tim Barany

Once there was a man who lived in a house all to himself. The man was unhappy in his house. The man was unhappy because, there was no light where he lived.

Without any light nothing would grow and he went around his house stumbling over furniture and bumping into walls. He was unable to find any doors or windows in his house. and, neither could he find a stairway. The man in desperation called out for help!

The first to heed his call was a plumber by trade and when he entered the house he saw that it had no plumbing. So he went to work installing running water in the mans house. He laid pipes, installed pumps and  and a heater and when he was done he was satisfied and left. But the man did not understand what it was the plumber had done so his house remained dark.

The next to hear his call was an electrician. The electrician found that the house had no wires, no switches and no bulbs. With great energy and quite soon, the electrician finished his work. Now there were wires in the house with bulbs and switches in each room. The electrician was satisfied with his work and so he moved on. But, the man understood nothing about what had been done so his house remained in darkness.

A third heard the call.She was a painter and when she entered the house she found that there was no color. So she feverishly put color on all the walls and ceilings within the house with her brush. And when she was done she was happy with her work and so she left. But, the man could find no reason for colors in the darkness and so, in the dark his house remained.

A fourth heard the call coming from the house. He saw that the house was plain and too ordinary. Being a decorator he set about ornately furnishing the house. and, when he was satisfied with his work he was gone. But, the man could find no joy in pictures and urns he could not see, so in the darkness he remained.

Along came a fifth person who heard the plea for help and they came to assist. They were a minister of God. He saw the house with all it’s trimmings and still in darkness and he was alarmed. He began to race from room to room raising the shades on all the windows and opening wide all the doors. and when he was satisfied that there was light he too left. But the man could see nothing past the brightness of the light. The brightness itself could reveal nothing to him so he closed his eyes.

It had been a long day and night and just at dawn a figure appeared at the door of the mans house. The new visitor was a very old man considered useless now by some, misunderstood by others for his silence. Having observed all the commotion, the old man came to the house and having entered it, tried to understand what was going on. He talked to the man in  the  darkness of his house, saying he had been all these things, plumber, electrician, painter, decorator and minister, but that he was old now and wanted but one thing and that was to be a friend. after all the rest had left their mark and the two remained they went together from room to room and learned the uses of all the pipes and wires, enjoyed the pleasures of all the colors and decorations, sought to understand the meaning of the light in each room of the house. Finally when they became familiar with each room they found that the darkness had been replaced by a warn light.


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