A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said,
"Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like."

The Lord led the holy man to two doors.  He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in.  In the middle of the room was a large round table.  In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water. 

The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly.  They appeared to be famished.  They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.  The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. 

    The Lord said,

"You have seen Hell."


They went to the next room and opened the door.  It was exactly the same as the first one.  There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water.  The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.  The holy man said, "I do not understand." 


  "It is simple," said the Lord.      
    "It requires but one skill.


You see they have learned to feed each other . . .




 . . . while the greedy think only of themselves."



    When Jesus died on the cross,
 he was thinking of you.


Remember that I will always
 share my spoon with you.




I saved emails received March 20, 2008; April 17, 2009; and December 16, 2009; all of which were this parable.  The emails were almost identical, except for the "please forward this" message at the end of two of them.  I have used the text from the first one in 2008 (eliminating the forward).  I added the graphics (from an "Alternatives for Simple Living" resources CD I purchased quite a few years ago).  I modified a couple of the images slightly to suit the story.  All of the above text is from the email except the title.  I did not have the subject lines in my notes. 



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