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 Parable of Swords to Plowshares, Sermon by Equitas

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PostSubject: Parable of Swords to Plowshares, Sermon by Equitas   Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:23 pm

Greetings to my friends, faithmates, and fellow citizens. I wish to thank all of you for coming to hear me speak, as I know it has been quite some time since my last public address. I break my long silence now with a parable dear to my heart, one which I feel has lessons for us all. The name of this parable is "Plowshares to Swords", and it is my
deepest wish that its meaning can touch some of those listening as deeply as it did me.

This story takes place in a kingdom much like ours, specifically in the farmland on its border. Like our own situation, this kingdom had a hostile neighbor that liked to send ravaging hordes across the border to strike fear and terror into the hearts of the citizens. One day, one such ravaging horde came down upon a small and peaceful farm near the border. The farmer and his wife were both slain, as was their daughter. The farm was pillaged, the animals butchered and fed to the invaders, the crops burned, the land despoiled. The son of the farmer was away on an errand in the nearby town and returned home to find that there was no home. He was a strong, strapping lad, his
body strengthened by years and years of hard labor on the farm. When he saw the burned and mutilated bodies of his parents and sister, he vowed then and there that the only things he would reap henceforth would be the soldiers of the enemy.

This young man, his new purpose burning within him and driving him forward, applied for military service and was quickly accepted, excelling in every type of training and quickly proving himself a prodigy with weapon and shield. He quickly rose to a high position in the border city's defense force, and the next time the enemy invaded, his strategies and incredible skill at arms were instrumental in repelling the enemy with minimal casualties. All that year, the border was safer than it had been in a long time. The farmer turned soldier was pleased with his work, and believed that he had done honor to the memories of his fallen family.

As chance would have it, that winter was particularly long and severe. Blizzards and fierce storms the likes of which that kingdom had never seen pummeled the borderlands, and just when the people thought they were safe, and spring had arrived, a severe drought struck next. The borderlands were soon facing a massive shortage of food, and the people were in danger of starving. Enemy raiders can be cut down, tyrants can be deposed, and even kingdoms can be destroyed...but starvation is an enemy no sword can cut.

This brings me back to our young protagonist. Faced with an enemy his sword could not cleave, he was forced to watch his friends waste away, the food rations barely enough to keep them alive. But something happened then, something that he did not expect. The young man began to notice certain things. Inefficiencies in food storage, ways that the rationing could be improved, little things that he had never been taught in his military training but were left over from his days on his family's farm. The drought came to an end, but the damage had been done.

It was at this point that our young soldier realized that he was useless in his current capacity. There were no more enemies to fight, the enemy nation had been all but brought to their knees by the same brutal weather conditions that had hit his kingdom, and here he was with a sword and nothing to use it on. He knew what was needed. His kingdom did not need more soldiers, not even ones as talented as he. What his kingdom needed was new farmers. What his kingdom needed was people who could make things grow, not people who could kill. He resigned his post in the military and took a proposal to the lord of his city. He requested able bodied men and woman that he could train as farmers and use to revive the land, and bring bountiful harvests back to the borderlands. The Lord was just as desperate as his people by this point, and gave the man the chance he wanted.

The borderlands were saved. The harvest was bountiful once more. And the man who had seen and caused so much death in his life was now faced with a deep question. What was his purpose? What was his role? Was he a soldier? Was he a farmer? Was he a teacher? Was he a leader?

And here, with this question, the parable ends. For you see, the answer doesn't really matter, does it? This man's success, and all the good he did for others was not caused solely by any innate talent he had, nor by his upbringing. He was a soldier AND a farmer. He was a teacher AND a leader. A person does not need to restrict themselves with titles and strict functions. You can be a soldier and still be a painter. You can be a farmer and still be a musician. All of us have many talents, none of us should be defined purely by what we may be best known for.

At this point you may be asking what any of this has to do with the Goddess Waylumi. Or perhaps you've already puzzled it out. Seeing as it's part of my job to make these connections clear, I'll go ahead and say it. This man's story explains the very nature of the tenets of Love and Wisdom. He worked tirelessly to protect the land and the people he loved, and he had the wisdom to see that his capacity to do so was not limited to just assisting in warfare. It is the perfect expression of Wisdom to know exactly how best you can contribute, even if that way is not how you ordinarily help with things.

All of us are needed, and all of us have our own special talents that may be called on at any time, sometimes when we least expect it.


Accept all of who you are, and accept all of what you can do, and you will know how best you can be of aid to those you love.

I thank you for listening to my words. May the Light illuminate your paths forever.

(This sermon was originally given by Equitas on the evening of December 27, 2012
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