It was my first day as a parent at a Georgetown toddler's playgroup. We had done playtime, snack time, circle time and now it was playground time. I started talking to a mother whose daughter was about the same age as mine. Within a few minutes of talking to her, she started to complain to me about how stressful her life was right now. Stressful not because of work demands, toddler sleep issues, or health concerns. No, stress because she just had too many houses. Eight houses, to be exact! I tried to figure out what the most appropriate response would be to this strange stranger. This was a horrible caricature played out in real life. It was something you would see depicted in a New Yorker magazine cartoon--two moms at the playground fence complaining about their latest first-world problem. It is funny and jarring and unbelievable all at the same time. That is what today's parable is for me as well--funny, jarring, and unbelievable. This parable is a caricature of both the rich and the poor. The rich man in the story isn't just rich--he is over the top--this guy dresses only in regal clothes--in royal purple hues and fine linens--he only does fine dining and banquet feasts. And the poor man isn't just poor; he's dirt poor. He is crippled and starving and lying at the rich man's gate. He is covered in sores and is being licked by savage dogs. He is unclean, a total outcast, desperate even for the scraps from the rich man's table. The rich man goes past the gate each day, but somehow he never notices this poor, desperate soul. Both of these men die--the rich man is buried and ends up being tortured in hell, and the poor man is carried away by angels and welcomed to the heavenly banquet table. Death to the poor man is a blessing; death to the rich man is a curse. Their worlds were incredibly close yet utterly separate.