7 If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted towards your needy neighbour.
8You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be.
9Be careful that you do not entertain a mean thought, thinking, ‘The seventh year, the year of remission, is near’, and therefore view your needy neighbour with hostility and give nothing; your neighbour might cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur guilt.10Give liberally and be ungrudging when you do so, for on this account the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. ~ Deuteronomy 15: 7-10
THE SYSTEM OF KETURAH
We sat at a feast, both I and Keturah, and certain others. And the Hostess had prepared a Dinner that was Some Dinner. And we ate thereof and rejoiced. For I enjoy the eating of such Good Things as God hath given to men, and I can eat anything save it be Health Foods.
And the servants brought in the Good Stuff which Cometh toward the end of the Meal, and Keturah took thereof, even of the Ice Cream and of the Cakes. But of the Ice Cream she ate but one small spoonful, and of the cakes brake she off save it were only a Crumb from Each Kind, that she might judge how many Eggs the Recipe called for, and whether tbey had used Butter or Cotolene.
But as for me, I cared for none of these things, but ate all that was set before me. For I enjoy all manner of sweet things, even Pies and Cakes, and Ice Cream and Conserves, and Apple Pie, and Mince Pie, and Custard Pie, and Cherry Pie whereof all the Stones have been taken out, and Pound Cake, and Sponge Cake, and Cocoanut Cake, and Chocolate Cake, and Angel Cake, and Wedding Cake, and Fruit Cake, and Sherbets and Preserves, and Strawberry Jam, and Apple Butter, and Preserved Figs, and Fruit that hath been preserved in its weight in Sugar, and many other kinds. But Keturah careth little for them; nevertheless she taketh them when I sit nigh unto her.
Now while the Hostess was talking about women Organizing and Having a System, Keturah slipped her Full Plate over to me, and I slipped my empty one back to her, and I ate her Ice Cream, and her Cakes besides mine own. And the Hostess saw it not, neither they that sat at meat. And this hath Keturah done many times in the years wherein we have been married, and her System worketh to her Complete Satisfaction, yea and to mine.
Now on the next day there came to me a man who said. Behold, I have owed thee Fifty Shekels of long time, and thou didst lend this to me when I was Hard Up. Now will I repay thee.
And I embraced him and I thanked him much; for if all men who have borrowed from me would repay me, I should have more wealth than I now possess.
Now it came to pass that night as we sat at meat that I slipped the Plate of Keturah where mine had been, and mine where hers had been. And she looked, and behold, on the plate which I slipped across to her there were five pieces of gold, each of the value of Ten Shekels.
And she cried out and said, What is this, and whence came it?
And I said, Get thee to the sellers of Silk in the City, and to them that prepare Fine Raiment for women, and buy thee a Stunning New Frock, and see to it thou bring me back No Change.
And she asked me saying. Dost thou not need this Money for other things?
Lo And I said, O thou to the arch of whose eyebrow the New Moon is a Servant Maid, some women have a System different from thine, but thine Suiteth me Mighty Well, and from time to time there shall be Reciprocity. I also will work thy system and see how well it worketh in Reverse Gear.
And I thought of men whose Religion consisteth in Teasing God for what they think are their Rights or their Desires, and others who delight in giving to God the best that they have. And I said in mine heart that those Christians get most out of the Goodness of God who follow the system of Keturah. For it is a system that worketh well both with man and God.
SAFED AND KETURAH
The Third Series of the Parables of Safed the Sage
BY WILLIAM E. BARTON
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