Simple answers, seismic solutions

Just because a problem looks impossibly complex does not mean the solution needs to be equally complicated.

Consider a much-loved Bible story. A widow has run through her resources. The creditor pounds at the door. Her two sons are about to be seized and pressed into service as bondmen to the creditor. But wait! The prophet Elisha enters the scene. He questions the widow. “What hast thou in the house?” She replies with an openness about her circumstances that may hint an openness to spiritual remedies. “Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil” (see II Kings 4). Elisha apparently senses more is on hand, and the widow’s simple answer leads to a seismic solution. Elisha directs her to canvass the neighborhood, collect as many empty containers as possible, and fill them with the oil from her own pot. The many containers are filled. From the woman’s original and inauspicious response to Elisha’s “What hast thou in the house?” came an unexpected and lasting solution.

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April 23, 2012

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