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The Parable of
THE UNJUST JUDGE
The Governor’s secretary put the day’s schedule on the breakfast table. “Give me the rundown”, the Governor said.
“Let’s see”, said the secretary, “it looks like this morning’s meetings are to address the poverty issues in the inner cities: housing, hunger, and sanitation sub-standards. This afternoon you’re taping a televised public announcement for the anti-gang campaign. Then you have an emergency disaster relief visit downtown. Afterwards you’re meeting with the Congressional leaders in the thirty-second district. You’re having dinner tonight with the Mayor and his wife… and you know he’s going to bring up the anti-abortion issue. Speaking of which, don’t forget the elementary school kids are touring here tomorrow. Shall I make sure you’re not disturbed?”
“No”, said the Governor. “I want to make a quick appearance and impress the voters of tomorrow that a good leader never forgets the little people.”
“Very well”, said his secretary.
“I don’t suppose there’s any chance of a round of golf in between meetings?” the Governor asked wistfully.
“There are three chances of that”, said his secretary with a chuckle. “Slim, fat, and none.”
“Excuse me, Sir”, his housekeeper interrupted as she took his breakfast plate. “May I have a word with you?”
“Certainly, Edna”, the Governor said. His secretary excused himself to the balcony.
“Sir, I’m having a problem with one of the other servants.” Before he could wave her away, she was determined to plead her case. “Ever since my husband died, he’s been very rude and making sexual advances. He won’t take no for an answer. I need this job to support my two children, and I don’t know what I’ll do if he persists.”
“Who is this scoundrel?” the Governor said, smiling.
“That’s just it, Sir,” said Edna. “It’s your butler, Mr. Logan.”
“Logan?” said the Governor, surprised. “Why, he’s been with me for years!”
“Yes, Sir”, said Edna. “He’s been harassing all the female staff for years, too.”
“I find that hard to believe”, said the Governor, frowning. “Nevertheless, I’ll speak to him about it.”
Edna knew the conversation was closed, so she cleared away the rest of the dishes in silence.
By coincidence, there came a tap on the door, and in came Logan. This time, the Governor did not miss the way he leered at Edna before she made herself scarce.
Still, he did not want to inflame the situation before he had more proof, so he said nothing. Soon, he had forgotten all about it. However, his memory was jogged when Edna served him lunch, although she didn’t say a word. He was inclined to dismiss the whole episode, but later that day, he happened upon a private conversation between Logan and a maid whom he had cornered on the balcony. The French doors were ajar when the Governor had entered the room, and he heard enough to convince him that Edna was right.
However, he was loath to let his butler go, after so many years of trusted service. Trusted? He felt the weight of Edna’s stare even before he turned around. She looked down quickly and finished emptying the trashcan in silence.
Then the maid came in from the balcony looking distraught, followed by Logan, who was surprised at the audience. Logan recovered quickly, though; he straightened up, and with a quick bow, left the room.
To the Governor’s relief, his secretary then came in and swept him off to his next appointment.
Every now and then throughout the afternoon, the thought of Edna reoccurred to him. He didn’t like being troubled by such trivial matters, when he was responsible for the much more weighty concerns of the state. After all, the House Manager was next in the proper chain of command in such matters. The Governor decided to wash his hand of the whole thing. Having made that decision, he was able to free his mind of it… until dinnertime.
There was Edna again, serving the dinner while the Mayor predictably launched a non-stop lecture on the abortion issue. The Governor found his mind wandering, and it came to rest on Logan, who had entered the room to serve the wine. As the Governor discretely observed him, he noticed Logan unnecessarily brushing past Edna and the other woman as they were serving the meal. Also, his hands were not where they should be. This inappropriate behavior continued throughout the meal. The Governor decided to bring this to the attention of the House Manager himself, as soon as the Mayor was gone.
While the after-dinner drinks were being served in the lounge, Edna came in to clean up a spill. The Governor noticed her cheeks were red and she was fighting back tears, though she said not a word. Then the Governor’s own words, which he had spoken earlier that morning, came back to haunt him: “A good leader never forgets the little people.”
He was elected to govern the entire state’s affairs; surely he should govern his own household as well. So, when the guests had left, and Logan asked if there was anything else, the Governor said with conviction, “Yes, Mr. Logan. You’re fired.”
THE UNJUST JUDGE (Luke 18:1-7)
“There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.”