This story came my way the other day. It is a Christian rendition of a fable attributed to Aesop.
The Ant And The Grasshopper
A mother of a 9 year old boy, Mark, received a phone call in the middle of the afternoon. It was the teacher from her son's school.
"Mrs. Smith, something unusual happened today in your son's third grade class. Your son did something that surprised me so much that I thought you should know about it immediately.""The ant works hard all summer and stores up plenty of food. But the grasshopper plays all summer and does no work.
Mother's seldom want to hear from their child's teacher in the middle of the day. The mother was uneasy and nervous by such a beginning to a phone call. "What now?" the mother wondered.
The teacher continued, "I have been teaching for many years and nothing like this has happened until now. This morning I was teaching a lesson on creative writing. And as I always do, I tell the story of the ant and the grasshopper.
Then winter comes. The grasshopper begins to starve because he has no food. So he hops to the ants house and begins to beg. 'Please Mr. Ant, you have much food, please let me eat, too.'
Now boys and girls your job is to write the ending to the story.
Your son, Mark, raised his hand. "Teacher, may I draw a picture?"
"Well, yes, Mark, if you like, you may draw a picture. But first you must write the ending to the story."
The papers came in. As in all the years past, most of the students said that the ant shared his food through the winter and both the ant and the grasshopper lived.
As always, a few children said, 'The ant said, "No, Mr. Grasshopper. You should have worked in the summer and not played. Now, I have just enough food for myself." So the ant lived and the grasshopper died.
But your son ended the story in a way different from any other child, ever. He wrote, "So the ant gave all of his food to the grasshopper; the grasshopper lived through the winter. But the ant died."
And the picture?
At the bottom of the page, Mark had drawn three crosses. "Jesus gave up his life so that we might live eternally."
After I got over my resentment about the grasshopper goofing off all summer, and feeling compassion for the thing, I am pretty sure I would rise above the situation and share. But give everything? I don't know if I would be able to give all my food to the grasshopper. I'm not sure I would even think of it.
Lord, have mercy.
image - http://smartpei.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451db7969e2010535b9248b970b-800wi