This being All Saints' Day, how about a parable? A man was taken on a tour of both heaven and hell. In hell he was shown a banquet hall filled with diners seated at a table that was covered with all kinds of delicious food. Each person’s back and left arm were tied to the chair so that bending at the waist was impossible, and the left arm could not move. The right arm was stiffened so that the elbow would not bend. The people at the table could gaze at the delicious spread and they could smell the aroma of the food, but they were starving.
In heaven, the picture was the same – backs and left arms shackled, right arms stiffened – but the diners were feasting and rejoicing, because each diner used his stiffened right arm to feed the person to his or her right. It was a picture of people working together, in other words – it was cooperation. How wonderful!
Of course, we don’t have to wait to get to heaven to have this kind of teamwork. It really is quite easy to do things for each other, right here on earth! Oh and before you ask what part of the Bible this parable comes from - it doesn’t. This isn’t a parable of Jesus, but one that we mortals came up with and which has been told and re-told. The point is a very good one though: cooperation - helping others - making a difference. It's a story that illustrates the very thing we talk about here every day.
If you like your parables to come from Scripture and have to have some backup from the Bible, let’s look at the words of Blessed Paul the Apostle, who in his letter to the Philippians wrote “Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.” I could not have said it any better!