Dear Friends, do you like gospel metaphors? I was a young child when I first read John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. It used to be assigned reading in some schools. Recently, a friend of mine read it for the first time and it opened up a great doorway for him to share the gospel with graphic symbolism. He shared the following gospel metaphor with me, and I asked if I could share it with you. I hope you can see biblical truths that correlate with your life and our great God’s saving grace. Enjoy!—David Telbat [glossary below the story]
Escape the Pit – a Gospel Metaphor
The Pit – Like an inverted volcano, this yawning mouth seeks to devour all of creation, especially human souls. Its steep walls, though not quite vertical, are slimy, smelly, and slippery, making climbing up them an impossibility. The slime that seeps from pores in the pit walls is the very slime that oozes forth from a depraved life. In this condition, humans enter the world, lost, and sliding downward, as good as condemned—to the bottom of the pit, where fire boils and monsters mock.
As the humans mature, they do their best to wipe the slime from themselves, to climb up the slippery walls, but they continue to slide backwards. The harder they struggled to climb, the faster they slip downward. At the bottom of the pit, the monsters cackle with laughter as each human, exhausted and desperate, reaches unsuccessfully for a way of escape from the pit.
Mr. Jay Yustace – This fair man stands on the top of the rim of the pit. In his hands are ropes, costly but strong. The ropes can rescue any human below, and many have called to Mr. Jay Yustace for a rescue rope, but this man reminds each human of the price for a rope. Each rope bears a guarantee of rescue, but no needy human has presented Mr. Jay Yustace with the proper payment to toss them a rope and drag them from the pit. The rescue ropes must be paid for.
The Monsters – The creatures at the bottom of the pit have already seen their own plight, and they have a yearning to share their doom with the humans. Their names by class are D-Outters, D-Scouragers, D-Featers, and D-Mons. Criticism spews from their wart-infested lips and accusation streams from their vaporous breaths. Threats and curses, slander and fury are cast at the humans who cling so frantically to the walls of the pit.
The Son – A Man clothed in white and stained with red appears on the edge of the pit. He is known by all as the Son of the Father. Briefly, He converses with Mr. Jay Yustace, who holds the rescue ropes. The Son declares that Mr. Jay Yustace may now throw the ropes down into the pit—all the ropes, for everyone. But Mr. Jay Yustace reminds the Son of the fair price to be paid for rescue using the ropes. The Son assures that the Father has sent the Son to pay for the ropes Himself—a rescue for all who are sliding into the depths of the pit—if only the humans will trust the ropes offered. Mr. Jay Yustace acknowledges the Son’s clothing—that it is white, yet stained with blood—the proof that the price for the rescue ropes has indeed been paid.
Without further delay, Mr. Jay Yustace throws the end of all the rescue ropes into the pit. There are enough ropes for all those clinging to the walls of the pit. No one needs to perish, if only they believe in the Son’s sure payment for the offered rescue rope, ready to pull the doomed up to a secure and once-for-all safety.
Reg Hector – This man refuses the rope quite near his grasp. He is near the top of the pit wall, and though he cannot stop his ceaseless slide downward, he doesn’t trust the rescue rope. He can’t find it within himself to trust what he hasn’t secured himself. He refuses the rope and uses his fingernails to scratch at the slime-covered wall, seeking a handhold to strive, labor, and yearn for his own rescue from the pit.
Luke Vharm – This young man hasn’t slid down any farther into the pit, nor has he climbed up. He is covered in the slime of his birth on the sloping walls, but he’s found a small ledge on which to stand. He has no desire to grasp the nearby rope since it would demand brokenness and tears to be pulled to safety. He is content on his ledge. But he doesn’t realize that the boiling fire below, from where the monsters cackle, is rising. It’s creeping up the walls of the pit, and Luke Vharm’s feelings of security and comfort on his ledge have blinded him to the urgency of a rescue afforded only by the rope nearby.
Fay Ethel – This broken person admits defeat and the unavoidable slide to the bottom of the pit, and having been left to her own slime-stirring struggles. She finds a rope within her grasp, provided by the Son, and trusts fully that it is secured above, paid for with a fair price she couldn’t pay. Holding onto the rope, she feels herself being drawn upward. Though the monsters still shout accusations at her, reminding her of her desperate days, Fay Ethel gazes straight up into the face of the Son who, hand-over-hand, pulls the rope up.
At the top, the Son embraces Fay Ethel and guides her into a shining kingdom that wasn’t visible from the depths of the pit. The pure light in the kingdom, beaming from a throne in the midst of shimmering waters, washes over her body like a warm wind. The slime that once coated her skin flows away, and she lifts her tear-streaked face and outstretched hands in gratitude. She is safe!
May we all, in brokenness and desperation, rely on the only rescue available through Jesus Christ, the Son, who has secured salvation for us by His own blood!
Mr. Jay Yustace = justice
D-Outters = doubters
D-Scouragers = discouragers
D-Featers = defeaters
D-Mons = demons
Reg Hector = rejecter
Luke Vharm = lukewarm
Fay Ethel = faith
You can read other D.I. Telbat Author Reflections here.
NEWS: STEADFAST Book One is OUT! (Only on Amazon for now.) You can find a direct link on our book page here. In a few days, Book Two will be out, followed shortly after by Book Three! Much appreciation to our beta readers/reviewers who kindly offered their services to us!
Prayer Prompt: “There are currently 24 million women and children enslaved in trafficking across the globe today, many of whom are trapped in brothels in India and Nepal. Each piece of jewelry was handmade in the Vision Beyond Borders safe house, where women are receiving not only training and healing, but restoration as well. In the safe house, women are being trained in hair care, sewing, and jewelry making to escape the chains of slavery. 90% of the profits go into a savings account for the women for a future small business endeavor and the other 10% goes to the women for immediate compensation.” Pray for this ministry and visit the VBB Etsy page here to learn more.
COMING UP: Join us next time for another unique short story by D.I. Telbat, “The Scars were worth it for Jesus.”