What is the Bible by Rob Bell – Part 14
What is the Bible?
Part 14: What are you going to do with Stuart?
On a personal note, I’m thrilled that you’re about to read this. Todays’ writing will require your participation. Below is a parable. Or maybe it’s an allegory. Or something like that. Anyway, once you’ve read it, feel free to send your interpretation to my tumblr site by using the “Ask a Question” button-the best ones will of course be reposted. And we’ll have much to discuss for next week as we work our way to materiality and the spectral presence shimmering just below the surface of the Bible.
Here you are:
You’re headed out of the town for the weekend and you ask your nephew Stuart to housesit for you. Stuart’s a good kid and he needs a little money and he’s always loved your dog, so it seems like a good idea.
Until you’re driving home Sunday night and you turn onto your street and there are cars everywhere. Cars parked on your neighbor’s lawn, cars parked two deep in front of your driveway, and as you get closer to your house you see that your front lawn is full of people. There are people in the driveway, people sitting on your lawn furniture which has been rearranged in a circle out near the street-there are even people on the roof.
Of your house.
Stuart, it turns out, decided to have a party.
And invite all his friends.
As you park and walk up the driveway and into the house, you notice that somebody clearly has been wrestling in the flowerbeds and then come inside because there’s dirt everywhere, including the white carpet in your living room, where they also wrestled-on the couch. Your dog smells like beer. Everything from your refrigerator is on the counter because there’s someone in your refrigerator, trying to set a world record for the longest time spent in a refrigerator. There are high school students gathered around a keg in the backyard, two people are eating a birthday cake with their hands in the front seat of your other car in the garage, and as you look up you realize that several of the people on the roof are drunk and they’re seeing how close they can walk to the edge of the second story roof without falling off…
And then you see Stuart, sitting at the head of the dining room table. He’s got six televisions hooked up-which he spliced in from the neighbors satellite hookup-and he’s taking bets on the football games on the screens. There are tens of thousands of dollars stacked in neat piles in front of him. He is smiling, smoking a $200 cuban cigar, holding an AK-47, talking to a girl named Luscious.
As you walk into the dining room someone realizes who you are and cuts the music. People stop talking. It gets very quiet. Stuart sees you and sits up straight.
You look him in the eyes, and you say
“Stuart, I couldn’t help but notice that you forgot to water the small plant on the desk in the den.”