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The Embittered Woman

This week the blog and the Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) focus on a parable about a disliked woman in a village who attracted a lot of attention in both her life and in her death.

There was an embittered woman who lived in a small village where everyone knew each other. This woman was crabby and seemed to repel anyone who came near her by criticizing and calling them rude names.

Over time, people walked on the other side of the street to avoid her. Some people said the old woman courted tension – created it, liked it, invited it.

Then one day, the woman died. Everyone in the small town went to the funeral and most people wept. The town folks talked among each other in grief-stricken ways and agreed the old woman would be missed for some reason they could not explain.

After the woman died, the townspeople began to fight with each other and there was conflict everywhere. Things were never the same without the woman who died.

Here are some questions to consider about this parable:

  • What is your reaction to this story?
  • What is surprising to you about this story?
  • How might the embittered woman have described the situation with the townspeople before she died?
  • What are your feelings about the woman?
  • What do you think the woman represents?
  • What do you think the woman needed, in your view, that she didn’t get? Why did you choose that need or those needs?
  • What do you think the townspeople needed that they didn’t get? Why did you choose that need or those needs?
  • What lesson is there in this parable for you?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

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