Jan 05, 2011
It was in a land called Ruination that the locket was first given. An ambassador from the healing fields came to the people of Ruinantion with a basket filled with the golden treasures. Day and night he cried out in the city streets, offering his priceless wares for free. "Take your locket! Take your free locket! It will preserve your soul from the effects of this cursed land! It will ensure you an entrance into the healing fields."
Many ignored the ambassador, and some showed mild interest. A few approached with questions, such as "Will I become rich? Will I be cured of all disease? Will my house become safe from thieves?"
To these questions the ambassador would honestly reply, "No, it will neither increase your fortunes nor remove your difficulties in this land. It will keep you from adding to your own sorrows, through, and it will ensure your safety in the healing fields at last, when the land of Ruination comes to an end. Oh, take a locket; take a locket!"
"What does the locket contain?" a wide-eyed child asked.
The ambassador eagerly replied, "It contains a drop of the life essence of the great Prince of the healing fields. This is the most precious substance that can be found anywhere under the sun. It is more precious than any amount of good things this land can give you. Please, please, take a locket!"
Finally a few of the citizens of Ruination edged toward the ambassador with upturned hands. From above, it was a pathetic sight to see. Droves of people darted about, many crippled or ill, dressed in dark, filthy clothing, ignoring the ambassador, while a few ragged ones, mostly children, crept toward him. Into each willing hand he would place a golden locket, which would gleam bright against their grubby fingers. The locket would then be hung around their necks, and they would wander off, some to tell others about the locket-bearer and others not to.
A week after the ambassador had arrived in Ruination, the dawn brought a band of angry men to the place where he cried out in the street.
"Some of the ones to whom you gave the locket," they snarled, "have met with misfortune. Disease. Crimes. Even death! The locket did them no good!"
A muscular, dirty man walked forward holding the pale, limp body of a child. There, tossed among the rags she wore, was the gleaming golden locket."My daughter took one of your lockets!" he cried. "It did not help her! She died of the plague last night in her sleep!"
A frail-looking old woman limped forward with a locket in her hand. "I took one of your lockets, and I was attacked and beaten by thieves!" she cried.
A young mother with streaming tears took the ambassador by his collar, sobbing, "All three of my children took one of your lockets, and all three of them were kidnapped last night!"
The ambassador composed himself and spoke softly. "Certainly the locket is not to blame. Would not these things have happened anyway in this land of Ruination?"
This question was met with silence. The people knew that their land had always been filled with these terrors.
"Yet for those who gladly receive the locket," the ambassador said, "there is a safety that transcends the misfortunes of life in Ruination. Those who die with the locket will partake of that life essence given so freely to them by the prince of the healing fields, and they will live at last in a place far more worthy of them than this desperate land!"
"How can we know?" the muscular man shouted.
"You must believe," said the ambassador. "Certainly the prince of the healing fields would not leave the people of this land without an escape, for he gave up his very life-essence in order to provide that escape."
One by one the scorners departed from the ambassador, who took up the task, calling out the passerby, "Please, take a locket! Take a free locket! You will live forever in the healing fields! Please, take a locket!" As he continued to cry out day after day, he heard the scoffing of doubters, felt the sailing stones of haters, and saw the cold, heartless backs of unbelief. The ambassador marveled that the people of Ruination would refuse the hope of life in the healing fields merely because they were not assured of immediate prosperity and perfect safety. Yet to this day he continues to call out, day after day, week after week, year after year, offering his treasures to all who will take them.
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." John 16:33
Try it out: Divide a paper into two columns. On one side, write "Sufferers"; on the other, "ultimate good." Look for biblical examples of people who suffered and give details about how they suffered. Across from each entry write down what ultimate good came from their suffering. (Hint: A good person to start with is Job.)