The people cam forward to ask, “How shall we treat our brothers and sisters who, by reason of mental impairment are disproportionately numbered amongst the unemployed?”
After a moments pause, this parable was told.
“There were once two sisters Mary and Martha.
Mary owned a small “Vintage Cafe ” which did not make her much profit but was a great boon to her village. People visited it after Church services, she catered for small parties, for those who could not afford lavish family occasions, and the local book club would sit and discuss matters all afternoon over two pots of tea. She welcomed them.
One day her only assistant decided to leave. She could get three times the money and a pension, working for the BBC in their canteen. Mary was distraught, as it had been hard enough to find and afford help originally and she could not afford to pay much.
Martha had two sons Luke and John.
Martha had not been able to work for years because Luke suffered Down’s syndrome and John suffered from Torrettes syndrome and was prone to rather unsocial language which many who did not know him found alarming. She would have liked to get away from her caring responsibilities from time to time and thought she could manage a bit of flexible working as a cleaner. Her problem was looking after her sons.
One day Mary came up with a solution.
The boys could come and help her in the cafe whilst Martha started her cleaning business. Luke was an amiable fellow who would enjoy waiting and clearing the tables and John could help in the kitchen where his more extravagant language was something his aunt could tolerate.
The only problem was that Mary could not employ both boys, even at the national minimum wage. The cafe was simply not viable with three wages. Martha and her boys were all happy for Luke and John to work for half the previous worker’s wage, it was an affordable form of supervised care and the boys would enjoy the chance to show a little independence.
When Mary and Martha’s jealous brother Owen heard of this he was angry. He had never offered any employment for his sister or his nephews but denounced the proposal calling it ‘ exploitative, nasty, and vile’. His friends agreed and loved to cast the first stone.
Which of the family members fulfilled the law of promoting life in all its fullness?”
The people looked at each other amazed that the question was even put.
“Why, the sister who enriched her nephews lives, gave them purpose, independence, and stimulation” , they relied, “Not to mention the preservation of a community resource, and rendering modestly to Caesar” they replied.
“Go and and do thou likewise” came the reply. “But be prepared for abuse and rejection from those who rejected me before they built their own morality”.