A wheelchair salesman enjoyed a lucrative career without many time restrictions. He made appointments on his schedule and had the ability to enjoy recreation and had a lot of time to do as he pleased.
He also paid many visits to his mother at her nursing home, but that was done with a hidden motive. He used the stories she told him to relate to his clients and appear trustworthy and empathetic. Additionally, he was able to pick up more sales from the nursing home staff and residents.
The man started noticing how difficult technology was to certain people he visited. To him it was simple, just do step one then step two and so forth. He had no understanding of how they didn’t know all the things he knew, but it wasn’t his problem he decided.
It was interesting, and the fact that he noticed could be used to his advantage, but nothing more. He rationalized that his career choice meant he needed a certain ability to detach himself from the problems of others, unless it meant a bigger commission.
A nurse that transferred to his mother’s nursing home caught his interest. Whenever he could, he paid her a visit and talked with her about the patients he saw and bragged that he was always finding them the best deals around. She seemed interested when he talked of the plight of his clients. He decided to be angry at the system that left them helpless. Conveniently leaving out certain details, he spoke of the hardships they faced and how helpless those in wheelchairs really were in those circumstances.
As they dated and became more involved, the man sought to be her hero. Her car had a simple problem he was able to fix easily. Then her television acted up and she was happy to find her new boyfriend was able to fix it. He seemed able to fix almost any trouble she faced and she wondered how she had managed without him. The more he showed he was capable, the more something in his stories began to bother her, but could not say why exactly.
A new resident moved to the nursing home and the young lady noticed the brand of her wheelchair. She discovered her boyfriend had sold her the chair. There was something negative about the sale that the older woman would not say much about. When pressed further, the resident admitted that the salesman seemed a little untrustworthy. She explained there was a very simple technical problem on her new wheelchair that interfered with the ability to steer well.
The client related that although the salesman delivered the wheelchair personally, he had claimed he was unable to address anything technical. He had said he was ‘not trained’ by the manufacturer but commented on ‘how interesting’ it was that this was the second case with the same problem in two weeks. The client doubted the validity of the claim because the wheelchair technician who had fixed the chair had explained the problem. It was the battery cable, and he said it was unfortunate because it was quite obvious. Knowing this, the client assumed that the salesman didn’t have the decency to help her.
The nurse was astonished but found she now understood the unsettled feeling she had about the stories he told her. In a heated discussion on why she would not see him again, her voice carried loud enough for his mother to hear. Her son, whom she had revered and trusted to care for her friends and herself, was in reality a disappointment. His stories about the unfortunate clients unraveled and she too realized the truth. Her son knew better but chose to be selfish.
Moral of the story:
In the second part of Matthew 2:7 we read about Herod questioning the wise men, he “…inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.” Herod was interested in the details such as the time so that he could use it for his devious plans. I find it interesting that a baby promised for so long and visited by such noteworthy people didn’t make Herod celebrate. I don’t think Herod is alone though.
In this story I tried to put a face to head knowledge. The salesman wasn’t a bad person; he thought about others, he just didn’t help them. There are people who love to learn about Christianity and even study the details and its history. It is simply information and doesn’t hold any personal significance. The choice to say that the greatest sacrifice ever made is merely ‘interesting’ is so sad to me. I have to hold up the mirror again and realize that there are times where I love the head knowledge and I forget the spiritual part of a truth. It’s so easy to do. Not doing it requires that intentional opening of oneself to what God is revealing through the truth to you. Over and over I learn to fall on my face before my Lord in surrender.