Knowing Wrong

Consider this “parable”:

A man is lost and dying in the desert. He is the sole survivor of a plane crash that took many other lives, Including those of some loved ones and small children.

In his days of scorched seeking of succor and nights of frigid suffering, he has become riddled with survivor guilt and bitterly convinced of the intrinsic unfairness of… everything.

Crawling with the last dregs of desperately summoned energy in his dehydrated and sun-blasted body towards what he thinks could be the direction of the nearest town or oasis, he reaches the crest of a dune and beholds a miraculous sight!

There, nestled in a narrow defile between tall dunes, in the shade of a sturdy and expansive canopy, are several tables laden with fresh fruit, meats, cheeses, and other delectable foods. Several people sit on padded benches around the tables, drinking water from large crystal goblets while others are fetching more cool water and chilled delicacies from a large refrigerator-like object with a water and ice dispensary built into it’s front. As much as they carry to the tables., there always seems to be more on its capacious shelves.

There’re no wires or generators or other power sources visible, no vehicles or other transport apparent, and no sounds other than the fall of ice into the cups, the soft thudding of the door of the device and the gentle murmur of voices and laughter from the people in the shade.

As he gapes at this incredible scene, one of the people notices him at the top of the dune and gesturing to another to come along and help, starts towards him with some water. While he crosses the tiny valley to climb the dune and rescue our dying traveler, the desiccated and tormented one begins to croak: “No!… no! You’re not real… you can’t be real… there’s no scientific basis for what I’m seeing or reasonable possibility that can explain this – you’re a hallucination!”

He scrabbles away and tumbles back down the dune, down the same sliding sand he’d so tortuously climbed, to lie almost senseless and barely breathing at the base of the steep slope.

Following more slowly and cautiously, the two from the inexplicable oasis arrived to stand over him.

One said to the other: “The master says that we may not force the water of life on him – that none may come unless He calls them, then they may be saved if they hear and come of their own free will”.

The one with the cup replied: “But, he’s delirious, he’s not thinking clearly… let me try.”

“Yes, try, then… the Master may have brought Him over the dunes so that you may.”

The water-bearer then knelt beside the semi-conscious man and, dipping clean fingers into his cup, sprinkled some of the cool water on his cracked and parched lips and fevered brow, until the fallen one startled awake and looking jerkily around, said: “See! See! – no shade, no food, only you hallucinations! I knew it. I just knew it! There's only pain and death and suffering... nothing else!”

“No, No,” the others cried, “…let us help you, let us carry you over this thing that blocks your sight and show you the reality that will save you! Just let us direct you and help you to drink and taste and know for yourself that the Lord… the Master is good.”

“I know what I know, and I know that's not real... not possible…” he muttered, as he faded back into terminal unconsciousness.

The kneeling one sadly said: “But, he doesn’t know! He doesn’t even know that he doesn’t know!”

The other replied, “You don’t have to understand to be saved, but you must turn from what you believe about your understanding and knowledge. Those that have eyes may see, but you must believe even when you don’t see how such saving grace could be.”