The Parable of the Bath Water and the Bucket


A group of business people were being given a tour of a mental hospital where their companies held supply accounts.

One of the visitors had made some very derogatory remarks to the staff and other visitors about the patients throughout the tour.

After the tour the visitors were introduced to various members of the staff in the dining room.

The rude visitor chatted to one of the security staff, Bill, a kindly and wise ex-policeman.

“Are they all raving loonies in here then?” said the rude man.

“Only the ones who fail the test,” said Bill.

“What’s the test?” said the man.

“Well, we show them a bathtub full of water, a bucket, a milk jug and a syringe, and we ask them what’s the quickest way to empty the bath,” said Bill.

“Oh I see, simple – the normal ones know it’s the bucket, right?”

“No actually,” said Bill, “The normal ones say simply pull out the drain plug. Should I check when there’s a bed free for you?”

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: ‘Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax-collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax-collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.” But the tax-collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.’ ~ Luke 18: 9-14

Merciful God, I bow before you today and thank you for the gift of your son, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Please forgive me for judging others according to what I may see. Forgive me for not seeing your people who are hurt, lonely, broken or discouraged. Thank you for reminding me that I am also one of the hurt, lonely, broken and discouraged people in the world sometimes but through your grace and the loving-kindness of brothers and sisters in Christ I am made whole. Help me bring healing and grace to those whom you would have me see. Today and from this day forward. Amen

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