Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me [Jesus]. (John 14:1) (NIV)

A Bovine Parable

A wealthy farmer owned two floppy eared Brahman steers. Cain was the color of chocolate, and Abel the color of cream. The animals had free range across the fields.

Boys taunted the giants. They threw rocks, and dared each other to slap the flinching haunches. Supposing the Brahmans wanted into their gardens, neighboring wives shouted abuse and waved sticks. The gentle beasts grew skittish.

The farmer set his heart on winning the trust of his oxen. He came out of his beautiful house, entered their paddock, and held out hay. “Here boys, I mean you no harm. Easy now, something good to eat.”

Eyes went wide and nostrils flared, as the animals reared back. Day after day, the patient farmer extended his offerings.

Abel eventually licked oats from the farmer’s hand, and slept in the barn, protected from adversaries. But even when Abel followed the farmer to green pastures and stood for scratches on his head, Cain fled from every kind intention.

Cain spent his days sniffing the wind and shifting his ears. He was wild and lowered his horns at friendly passersby. Cain refused to trust, so the farmer was forced into a painful decision. In grief, he sent the beast to the slaughterhouse.

“Aye lad, we’ve still got each other.” The farmer stroked Abel’s velvety ears. “And the kindness I would’ve shown Cain, I’ll give you also.”

Prayer: Lord, grant me a heart that trusts your love.