Short Short Story: “The Fool Answers Three Questions”

One day I sought out the Fool, and I asked him three questions.

“Fool, “ I said, with fear and trembling in my voice, “Is it true what others have said of you throughout the ages?  Are you the only begotten son of God?”

The Fool reached out and touched my heart with two fingers.  A warmth filled my chest.

I smiled, for in that moment I felt great love for the Fool, and I was no longer afraid.

“Fool,” I said, “When you commanded the rich young ruler to give away all his possessions, did you intend for all of us to do likewise?”

“We have no ‘possessions,’” said the Fool. “Naked we came into this world, and naked shall we leave it.”

“Fool,” I said, “You once taught that we should give and lend to others without asking anything in return.  You taught that God would care for us, just as surely as he cares for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field.

“These are your words: ‘Freely you have received, so freely shall you give.’

“These are also your words:  ‘Labor not for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life.’

“But in this world, Fool, your teachings are the highest folly.

“In this vale of tears, men and women must give their time and labor in exchange for money – money needed to buy bread, shelter, medicine.  Money needed to repay debts.  If I were to do as you commanded, I would risk starvation, exile, and ridicule.  Condemnation.  Even death.

“Knowing this to be true, what would you have me do?  Is this still your commandment?”

“It is a dilemma,” admitted the Fool.  “I resolved a similar dilemma myself, many years ago.”

The Fool stood up and walked away.  And I had no choice but to fill the silence with my thoughts.

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