• Mona

The Vineyard Parable

When I was practicing writing dialogue, I wrote out a few parables in conversation. It certainly added a personal drama to the wise multi-level stories. Here's the Vineyard Labourers.

The Vineyard Labourers July 2015

“Its harvest time,” Joe, the estate owner remarked to his wife over coffee at sunrise one Autumn morning.” Winter will soon be here. We can’t chance it this year. Last year we got lucky with ice wine but lets not plan for it. “

“Have you got workers lined up?” she asked.

“No I thought I’d go down to town today and round up a batch from the unemployment office.”

“That’s a good idea. There’s always guys in town looking for work.”


By 6 am Joe left for Sunny Square and found a group of men. “I have work harvesting grapes if you’re interested. Down at my property, McNally’s old vineyard. I’ll pay you $100 cash at the end of the day. The truck leaves here in 15 minutes.”

“Wow, did you hear that?” Steve elbowed his buddy Mike. “I’m in.”

“Me too.” Both men quickly gathered their wares and hustled out to the truck.

The ’05 Ford 150 roared to life and deposited five men in a vineyard off Fish Road. A foreman and some harvesters were already out there. “That ball cap over there is Michael, the supervisor, he’ll show you what to do,” Joe instructed.

Around noon, Joe took another trip down to town and found some more men milling around the office bulletin board.

“Why aren’t you guys working?”

“No one will hire us.”

“I have a day’s work in my vineyard and will pay you fairly. Get in,” and they did.

And at three o’clock he rounded up still more men. And one last time just before closing at 5 pm.

“I have work on my property picking grapes. There are already workers out there and it’s late but I will pay you fairly.”

“Wow that’d be great,” a man wearing a red mac replied.

“Ditto that,” the guy with long hair said.

“Count me in,” a third man said. When Joe dropped off this last bunch, he declared to all within earshot.

“I’ll be back at six to make sure everyone gets paid,” and with that he drove off.

When he returned at six as promised, he told the foreman to line everyone up starting with the most recent guys first to the early birds, to pay them their wages. Joe handed a crisp $100 bill to the 5 o’clock and 3 o’clock men. When Steve and Mike saw this from the back of the line, their grins erupted into coat button eyes and hearty laughter anticipating a handsome sum since they were there so early. When their turn finally came the foreman handed them too, each a $100 bill.

“What’s this crap?” Steve declared. They were mad as hornets.

“We slaved in that blazing sun all day for you! These guys didn’t get here until the day was almost over.” Rob complained to the owner.

“Did you not agree this morning you would work until 6 pm for $100,” the vineyard owner questioned him.

“Yes but ….”

“Am I not the owner of my money to do with it as I wish?”

“Yes, but …

“Are you envious of me because I am fair?”

“FAIR? ” Mike lost his temper.

“Take your money and go home,” the estate owner said dismissing them off his property. The late comers, pocketing their money, were glad they did their very best, if only for an hour, and watched the bullies storm off with much less than they expected.

Whoever is first among you, will be the least and whoever is the least will be first.

Although each worker did not produce the same amount of work, each worker did produce the same effort equivalent to his ability, and for that they were paid fairly. This is the kind of measure in God’s Kingdom.

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