Unemployed and Feeling Alone? – Listen for the Whisper

A Parable for today’s unemployed:

Once upon a time there was a young American Indian boy who dreamed, as most boys do, of being a man.  When he became a man of the tribe he knew he would have respect and honor and be offered opportunities to do great feats for the benefit of his tribe.  The only thing standing in his way of becoming a man was the “test of manhood.”  During this much-anticipated and feared test the young boy would be blindfolded, have his hands bound and then be taken into the deep forest.  There the youngster would be left sitting on a stump with his eyes still covered and hands still tied.  He must sit through the night braving the unknown, the unseen and perhaps dangerous beasts of the forest.  If he survived the night without removing his blindfold and running he could return to the tribal elders; they would then declare him a true man and true brave.

Well, the time came for the young boy to be tested.  His father bound his eyes and hands and took him to his destiny.  They went around and around, through bushes, around trees, across streams.   The boy didn’t know where he was or even how far they’d come.

Just before the father left him he leaned over and whispered into the boy’s ear,

“Son, be strong, be brave, and don’t give in to your fear.”

Then, he was alone.  The night sounds were terrifying.  All night the boy’s imagination ran wild.  What terrible thing was creeping upon him?  How could he survive the worst?  Yet he sat in his fear like a stone.  He had never felt so alone, so abandoned.  He heard the panther and bear nearby.  He could feel the eyes of hungry wolves surrounding him.

A number of times he thought he must cry out.  Becoming a man wasn’t that important!  He could go back to being a boy.  All he had to do was tear the blindfold from his eyes and wiggle loose from his bindings.  He could do it.  Then he’d be safe from all the surrounding dangers.  But, he thought of his family and their shame if he showed his cowardice.  So, he stayed all the way through the night.  When he felt the sun on his face in the morning he knew, although he had been left and could have been so easily killed by all the animals of the night, he’d made it.  He had passed the test.

He felt lucky, fortunate to have survived, and a little proud of his own courage.  It was time.  He took his blindfold off and looked around.  There, just a few feet away, was his father standing with bow ready and arrows at hand.  His father looked at him and said,

“I’m proud of you son, you are a brave man.”

The boy became angry and cried out,

“Didn’t you think I could make it on my own?  Didn’t you believe in me?”

The father smiled and exclaimed,

“You I trusted, but I love you and I was not going to leave you defenseless before all these dangers.  You were brave.  But I was here all night keeping guard.”

In the scary circumstances of our unemployment, 0ur loving Father is standing nearby on guard for our safety.   Even though He loves us, He wants us to go through the dark experience of seemingly being all alone and seemingly being unable to move.  He allows our imaginations to run into paralyzing, disheartening fear.  Sometimes the encouraging word He gives us is only at the beginning of our trial.  He whispers in our ears,

“Be strong, be courageous, and do not despair!”

 Deuteronomy 31:7-8
Then Moses called for Joshua, and as all Israel watched, he said to him,

“Be strong and courageous! ….

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you.

He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”


An excerpt from the book, “Unemployed: Life in the Wilderness – A Practical Guide to Living with Unemployment”  by Len M. Allen.

Think about it…


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