Murphy, the non-disciple, stood speechlessly steaming as his wife, Harpreet, walked away. He’d just smacked her a good one in the middle of an argument. Harpreet, from a former abusive relationship, also just smacked him.
This was something both thought would never happen. But, in the heat of the moment, under the circumstances, both vented their frustrations physically. This was not the first time either received a smacking, but it was the first time between THEM.
Murphy (to himself): I can’t believe this…
Harpreet: I can’t believe this.
Murph: I’m sorry, I…
Harpreet: Either the pub goes or I do!
Murph: There’s nothing wrong with the pub! It’s how I make a living and take care of you!
Harpreet: No, it’s how you avoid me and leave me on my own!
Murph: You know I love you. How else am I to pay the bills?
Harpreet: Find a way that doesn’t require you to tend bar all hours of the day and night.
Murph: This isn’t fair…
Harpreet walks out.
Murph (as she goes): I’ll work something out. I promise.
Harpreet: Yeah, sure. What’ll you do?
Murphy, moodily locks up his pub and heads up to the nearby highlands to seek wisdom from the Oracle of Galilee, Madam Roberts. She lives in a cave and is locally known for her wisdom.
Madam Roberts (rubbing her brow knowingly): Ah! You have a problem and come for the Wisdom of the Oracle. Sit.
Murph (sitting across from Madam): Wow, how did you know? My marriage is falling apart. I need you to help me.
Madam: The Oracle needs inspiration.
Murph (pulling out a few denari): Here’s an offering. My problem is…
Madam (holding up her hand): Stop. The Oracle knows all. You have fought with your wife.
Murph: Well, duh. She thinks I don’t…
Madam (closes her eyes, sways, rises and lifts her hands: The Oracle speaks: “Love not the circumstances dictate actions.” Go. Next.
A man with a goat enters the cave.
Murph (startled; as he’s leaving): Hey, can I buy a comma?!
Murphy is pushed out of the cave.
Murph (heading down the hill): Well, crap. Love, not the circumstances, dictate actions?Love not, the circumstances dictate actions? Love not the circumstances, dictate actions?
When Murphy returns to his pub he turns around and finds Jesus following him.
Murph: Hey, Jesus. What are you doing?
Jesus: I’ve been following you.
Murph: Really? I’ve been up to the Oracle. She wasn’t much help. Wouldn’t give me a comma.
Jesus: Well, what did you expect? I’ll give you the comma–it goes after the first word.
Murph: Love, not the circumstances dictate actions.
Murph: I love Harpreet but that doesn’t change the circumstances.
Jesus: If love can’t change your circumstances, you are stuck.
Murph: Why can’t Harpreet change and work within our circumstances?
Jesus: Whose love do you control? Figure out what part of the problem is yours and begin working with that.
Murph: Harpreet will only be happy if I give up the pub!
Jesus: Love is most evident in sacrifice. Think about those who love you and you’ll be thinking of those who have made sacrifices for your sake. They’ve followed you all your live. Only love can inspire such sacrifices–it’s not natural or rational.
Murph: Hmm. You’re right, but I don’t know if I can make the kind of sacrifices needed in my case.
Jesus: Follow me. You and Harpreet, follow me.
Murph: But what if she won’t?
Jesus: Love follows. It’s the sacrifice. You follow me, she follows you, you follow her, I follow you…love follows. If she loves you, she’ll follow you. If you love her, you’ll follow her. If you love me, you’ll follow me. If you follow me, I will care for you.
Murph: How can I follow you AND follow her?
Jesus: Murphy, we are good friends, right? Do for Harpreet as I would do for you. You found me here for you today. I’ll always have what you need. You be me to her. The key: Start over. Whoever follows, always gets another start–another chance to get it right.
Murph: Okay, I’ll restart. I’ll follow. If all goes well, we’ll both follow, but no matter what, I’ll follow.
Tr8: Love follows.