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The Ol’ Bull

A big-city lawyer was representing the railroad in a lawsuit filed by an old rancher. The rancher’s prize bull was missing from the section through which the railroad passed. The rancher claimed that the bull must have been hit by the train, and wanted to be paid the fair value of the bull.

The case was scheduled to be tried before the justice of the peace in the back room of the general store.

As soon as the rancher showed up, the attorney for the railroad pulled him aside and tried to get him to settle out of court. The lawyer did his best selling job, and finally the rancher agreed to take half of what he was asking.

After the rancher had signed the release and took the check, the young lawyer couldn’t resist gloating a little over his success, telling the rancher, “You know, I hate to tell you this, old man, but I put one over on you in there. I couldn’t have won the case. The engineer was asleep and the fireman was in the caboose when the train went through your ranch that morning. I didn’t have one witness to put on the stand. I bluffed you!”

The old rancher replied, “Well, I’ll tell you, young feller, I was a little worried about winning that case myself, because that darned bull came home this morning.”

The Quilt

The Quilt

As I faced my Maker at last judgement, I knelt before the Lord along with the other souls . Before each of us laid our lives, like the squares of a quilt. An angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.

But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in everyday life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.

I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and all the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened. My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty like binding air.

Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of the truth …The others rose, each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been.

My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise. My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn’t had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness and death, and false accusations that took from me my world as I knew it.

I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I had spent many lonely nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully: each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgemental gaze of those who unfairly judged me.

And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it had been…I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with eyes opened wide.

Then I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, The Face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with love and warmth in his eyes. He said: “Every time you gave over your life to me, it became my life, my hardships, and my struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let me shine thru, until there was more of me than there was of you.”

 

Don’t Step on the Ducks

Three guys had an accident and went straight to heaven. When they got there, St. Peter said, “We only have one rule in heaven. Don’t step on the ducks!”

They entered heaven and sure enough there were ducks all over the place. It was almost impossible not to step on a duck and although they tried their best to avoid them the first guy accidentally stepped on one.

Along came St. Peter with the homeliest woman he ever saw. St. Peter chained them together and said, “Your punishment for stepping on a duck is to spend eternity chained to this homely woman”.

The next day, the second guy stepped accidentally on a duck and along came St. Peter, who didn’t miss a thing, and with him was another extremely homely woman. He chained them together with the same admonishment as the first.

The third guy had observed all this and not wanting to be chained for all eternity to a horrible looking woman was very careful where he stepped. He managed to go for months without stepping on any ducks. Then one day, St. Peter came up to him with the most gorgeous woman he had ever laid eyes on. St. Peter chained them together without saying a word.

The guy remarked, “I wonder what I did to deserve being chained to you for all eternity?”

She replied, “I don’t know about you, but I stepped on a duck”!