GOLD METALLIC UMBRELLAS
(An Apologetic Parable Unraveling Relativism)
Pomeroy’s busy week delivering spiritual birthday gifts meant more parties for the angels. Joy erupted in heaven every time a human received living water. “Pomeroy the Party Angel,” as he was nicknamed, treasured his ministry as a delivery angel. Every day he witnessed people transformed by freedom. And every day he saw heaven’s borders grow bigger.
One day an archangel assigned Pomeroy to mentor a new gift deliverer. As the Party Angel fluffed up white satin bows and loaded packages onto his wings, a junior angel approached him.
“Hi! My name is Cassidy. I’m the new gift deliverer. I’ve just been promoted from gift wrapper. I’ve heard you’re a good trainer, and I promise to be a quick learner.”
“Sounds good, my friend. You can carry a few of these priceless boxes for today’s delivery—some of which you probably wrapped yourself!”
The smaller angel adjusted his wings with a glimmer of gladness in his eye.
Red, Blue, and Lavender Umbrellas
At a swift pace, and with parallel symmetry, the angels dove down to Earth. Many of the humans they observed carried colorful umbrellas—some red, some blue, some lavender.
“Hey, Pomeroy,” Cassidy asked, “what are all those umbrellas for?”
“Each color represents a false religious belief system that people hold on to. The red one claims there is no God. The blue one claims there are hundreds of gods. And the lavender one claims the whole universe is God.”
Cassidy looked puzzled. “So these people with the umbrellas are being deceived?”
“Yes. You see, there’s intense spiritual warfare over the destiny of human souls. Most of the people are unaware of it. Many think they’ve found spiritual truth, when in fact their umbrellas shield them from the pure, life-giving water that’s freely available to them.”
“What about the people who don’t have umbrellas?” Cassidy asked.
Living Water from Heaven
Pomeroy beamed. “They are the Victorious Ones. At some point in their lives they chose to let go of their umbrellas, then drink of the living water that rains down from heaven and washes over them. At that marvelous moment, they received their gift.”
“I’m so excited,” Cassidy blurted out. “I can’t wait to see people’s faces when they release their grip on those umbrellas and receive the living water.”
“That’s the most thrilling part of this ministry,” responded Pomeroy as he checked his celestial compass. “You’re going to witness a lot of transformations today. Sometimes it takes people years of tasting a few drops of living water here and there before they recognize its divine qualities. Then, when their hearts are opened and they close their umbrellas, they welcome the life-giving water.”
“And we can give them their gifts!”
Pomeroy chuckled at his assistant’s enthusiasm.
Cassidy’s First Gift Delivery
The two delivery angels approached a girl about nine years old, holding a red umbrella. She sat by herself on a cement porch in a neighborhood with falling fences and overgrown lawns. She closed her umbrella and her eyes, then prayed.
Cassidy flew closer and placed in her hand a small, iridescent white package. The little girl looked up with wide eyes and read the tag: “Happy Spiritual Birthday to Charis.” Supernatural raindrops fell all around her as she unwrapped the box and lifted out a Book of Life. “Charis Hanson” was inscribed on the first page. She jumped up and skipped around in the rain, singing with joy.
The junior angel turned a few flips of elation at seeing his first transformation. He was careful not to let any packages drop off his wings in the process.
“If only more people knew what they were missing!” Cassidy brushed away a tear with the tip of his wing. “I wish everyone on Earth would taste and see that the Giver of life is good.”
“The problem is, all humans are born with blinders. They can’t comprehend spiritual truth. It’s the job of the Victorious Ones to pray for others’ blinders to be lifted and to spread the good news about the miraculous water.”
“Do they do that?”
“Once in a while they do. Follow me.”
A Faculty Lunchroom Conversation
The angels swooped into a faculty lunchroom to observe two high school teachers engaged in a serious discussion.
“Your umbrella looks heavy,” said the Victorious math teacher with a tender smile. “I can see how difficult it is for you to keep holding it up. But you don’t really need to. If you close it, freedom and forgiveness will rain down on you, bringing new life!”
The English teacher tipped her umbrella slightly and extended her hand into the supernatural sprinkles. She felt a gentle shower and heard a faint pitter-patter. But they stopped the moment she withdrew her hand.
“Someday,” Pomeroy said, “she may step out into the living water. Only the Giver of life knows if and when.”
“But why don’t the Victorious Ones share the good news more often?” Cassidy asked. “And why don’t they pray passionately for people’s spiritual blinders to be lifted?”
Pomeroy marveled at his new helper’s grasp of the situation. “A lot of them are preoccupied with other things in life. They don’t see the big picture that you and I see so clearly. They don’t realize that all those umbrellas will someday dissolve into dust when the Rainmaker reveals His glory.”
Gold Metallic Umbrellas
The angelic twosome continued their journey, lightening the load on their wings as they distributed gifts.
In one metropolitan area, they saw crowds of people holding metallic gold umbrellas. Cassidy asked, “Do those shiny umbrellas represent another false religious system that blocks spiritual truth?”
“Yes, in effect.” Pomeroy surged forward in the fading sunlight, the junior angel accelerating alongside him. “The golden umbrella represents a philosophical mind-set that offers people the freedom to create their own spiritual truth. Those who embrace these eye-pleasing parasols can perceive truth however they prefer. When truth is up for grabs, people can live life their own way—and even create their own gods.”
“So people who hold gold umbrellas think they can live without set guidelines or accountability?” Cassidy tilted his head in disbelief.
“I’m afraid many of them do. Their relative view of truth may be a pleasing philosophy, but it doesn’t work out practically in life.”
A Deceitful Mind-Set
“When humans interpret truth according to their own perceptions or preferences, it creates clashing realities. For example, if one person believes fraud is acceptable, he could cheat people and claim that he doesn’t need to pay any consequences. That would conflict with the people who believe fraud is wrong and that the wrongdoer should be punished.”
Cassidy’s eyes widened. “But that would cause tremendous chaos. Besides, don’t they realize what they’re forfeiting by believing in a fictitious god instead of the true and living God?”
Pomeroy shook his head with sadness. “Nope. Their umbrellas blind them to the fact that they’ll never have a loving relationship with God here on Earth or enter His glorious kingdom.”
The angels searched for the one person in the vast sea of shiny umbrellas who was ready to drink the living water.
“How do the humans get trapped into such a deceitful mind-set?” asked the protégé.
“The fabric of the metallic gold umbrella is designed with a kind of transparency that distorts the rain’s appearance. It blurs the life-giving water and also its Source.”
“That’s tragic,” exclaimed Cassidy. “Those umbrellas are ushering people to destruction and they don’t even know it!”
“This recent tactic of the enemy is especially dangerous because it desensitizes people to the good news. And it’s spreading quickly.”
A Transformed Teenager
“I guess that’s why we only have one birthday gift to deliver in this pocket of people.”
A teenage boy with red hair in a Mohawk walked away from the multitudes. He sat on a park bench, lowered his golden umbrella, and prayed.
Pomeroy nodded to his partner, who took the last white box and presented it to Brandon Kelly. As the teenager ripped open the package and lifted out his engraved Book of Life, refreshing rain drops drizzled over him, soaking his jeans and jacket. Brandon jumped off the bench, then ran around in circles shouting for joy. He opened his mouth and tipped his head back, swallowing the living water.
“Now, there’s a young man with a future!” exclaimed Cassidy.
“You’re absolutely right,” Pomeroy said. “And perhaps God has a calling on Brandon’s life to expose the deceptive glitter and glamour of relative truth, so God’s genuine truth will shine.”
Cassidy turned a flip in jubilation. “These transformations are amazing. I can’t wait to see Brandon tell others about his spiritual birthday!”
“I’d love that too. But it’s time for us to return home.”
Heaven’s Bigger Borders
“To prepare more gifts for tomorrow?” Cassidy eagerly inquired.
“Yes, after tonight’s celebration.” Pomeroy winked. “Heaven’s borders got bigger today. There’s going to be quite a party!”
After connecting their wings with a heavenly high-five, they followed the final streak of starlight toward home.
On their way back, they glanced toward Earth and saw Charis, who was still skipping and singing in the rain.
Cassidy sighed. “I will never forget seeing her transformed face on the first day of my promotion. I hope that Victorious little girl will continue to draw close to the Giver of life … and pray for others … and splash out miraculous living water on others.”
“So do I, my friend. So do I.”
Seeing his work through Cassidy’s eyes made Pomeroy appreciate more keenly then ever the cosmic battle over priceless souls.