Here’s a children’s story in 3 parts I wrote a few years ago to go along with a sermon I preached from the Sermon on the Mount:
There once was a town called Normalville. It was a good name for the town, since everything there was normal. None of the people, or houses, or dogs were too big or too small but just the normal size for people, houses, or dogs. The days, too, were normal in Normalville. No day was too hot or too cold, but just the right temperature. And on one normal day, in the most normal way, in the most normal room of the Normalville Memorial Hospital, a normal baby was born.
At least he seemed normal. But as the little boy grew at a very normal rate, something not very normal at all happened. A wooden board soon began to grow out of his left eye. And as the boy grew more and more so did the plank. The board became an obstacle to very ordinary activities. Dinner, for example, was very hard. The family had to keep one eye on the mashed potatoes and one eye on their son.
School at Normal Intermediate was difficult, too. It’s hard to have to sit on the back row just so the teacher won’t trip over a board. Riding in the car was also a problem. The boy got very tired of only being able to ride in the middle of the back seat. Always. The little boy had a hard time playing baseball, too. The coaches and umpires decided that he would only get 2 strikes instead of 3 since he got to swing 2 bats instead of 1.
The boy soon became the most un-normal thing in Normalville. Other boys and girls would point and laugh as he walked down the street. They would say ugly things to him, like “You don’t look like you’re having fun! Are you ‘board’?” And, “Watch out for splinters!” And whenever the boy would try to do something nice for someone they would say, “Plank you. Plank you very much.” All this made the boy feel not very normal at all.
After many days and months of feeling un-normal, the little boy finally thought to himself, “This is silly. I’ll not let these people hurt my feelings any more.” He decided that he would defend himself by pointing out all the things that make everyone not-so-normal.
As it turned out, the people of Normalville were not so normal after all. It seemed that everyone had something about them that was not quite right if you looked hard enough. When he would see the boys and girls coming that had made such fun of him, he would point and laugh at something about them that was not normal. Sometimes he would say, “Why is one of your ears lower than the other one?” Or, “Your nose holes are too big!” Or, “The 80’s called and want their clothes back.” The little boy’s plan worked so well that he started saying things like that to everyone – not just the people who had said bad things to him. Thanks to the boy with the board in his eye, just about everyone knew that something about them – their nose, or ears, or clothes, or shoes – was not normal.
But the people he looked for the most were those who had something wrong with their eyes. If someone wore glasses, or were cross-eyed, or blinked a lot when they talked then they were not safe from the little boy. He would make such fun of their eye problems that they would run away in tears. As for the little boy, none of this made him happy, but at least no one else was happy either.