THE PARABLE OF THE CLODS
We lay in a huddled heap in our wooden crate on the back porch.
Ever since The Man found us scattered in gullies and crevices on the mountain and brought us to this Unknown Place, we lost all track of time. At least Out There we could breathe. Here we were mashed in upon one another, quite homogenized in appearance, caked with dirt.
“What will you do with those clods?” a curious voice asked.
“I’m going to turn each one into the likes of these,” The Man answered.
We shoved at each other trying to see through the slats of the crate. The Man displayed to a friend a splendid collection of highly polished stones that sparkled like diamonds. Our hopes soared. We fairly trembled with anticipation to think that we would soon be lifted out of our anonymity and transformed by some miracle into costly looking gems.
“Come along and I’ll show you how it’s done,” invited The Man.
He dragged our crate out of storage. But instead of picking us out one by one as we expected, He dumped all of us misshapen, mud-caked clods into a large steel drum. Oh! How it hurt to be treated so ignominiously! How the jagged edges of each clod hit and scraped against the others!
Scarcely had we rolled over trying to get more comfortable, than steaming, hot water began to pour over us. He shook an abrasive powder on us, dribbled oil on the whole mess, then slammed the door and locked it. We were terrified in the utter darkness.
The Man flipped a motor switch and the steel drum began to rotate unmercifully fast. Scraping, grinding, banging, crashing, clod against clod we tumbled. We thought we could not endure for one more minute the deafening noise and pain of our forced contact with one another.
Nevertheless, the spinning, friction, jabbing, crushing, knocking continued! How long? How long?
“It takes time,” remarked The Man as He walked away with his friend while our pummeling went on and on.
Much, much later He returned and flipped the switch off. The drum came to a squeaking halt. We were unceremoniously dumped out into a trough outdoors, nearly blinded by the sunshine. The Man turned a powerful spurt of hot water on us from a hose. Dirt poured away in a murky stream. Would our ordeal never end?
“Beautiful! Marvelous! Exquisite!” exclaimed The Man’s friend.
Breathless and dazed, we lay there stunned until we realized that he was talking about us. We looked at each other and gasped with disbelief. Each was different from the other—sparkling, brilliant and clean! We had been transformed from earthy clods to gems!
The Man lifted one of us to display in His palm. “Look,” He spoke with delight. “I can see My reflection on the surface of this one!”
The Man explained to His friend, “One clod can’t be polished alone. It takes the friction of many clods against each other, together with Oil, abrasive, and hot water to get this marvelous result.”
He who has ears to hear, let him hear and understand the parable of the Clods.