[Jesus often taught using parables, allegorical stories based on everyday life or current events. I suspect that, if only we looked around and thought for a while, we would find that our world is full of parables too. So here’s the seventh one. Enjoy.]

Joshua:    What on earth are you up to now?

Willem:    I’m glad you see I confine my energies to earth. None of your pie-in-the sky stuff: magical, invisible Holy Spirit guiding you and all that crap. I prefer cane spirit. And I’m trying to sort out this damn pump motor.

Joshua:    Something wrong with the brushes?

Willem:    No, it hasn’t got brushes.

Joshua:    No brushes?

Willem:    That’s mos what I said.

Joshua:    So, if there are no brushes, what takes the electricity to the bit that moves? I thought there were brushes brushing on the commutator to get the electricity to the moving bit from the bit that doesn’t move? You showed me that before.

Willem:    You mean, current from the stator to the rotor?

Joshua:    Yes, I mean, it can’t just jump across by magic.

Willem:    This is an induction motor. The current flows in the stator – the bit that stays still – but the current flowing in the stator induces a current in the rotor –the bit that goes round. Now the electricity flowing in the windings causes a magnetic field, and the two fields cause the rotor to rotate. That’s mos why it’s called an induction motor because the current in the rotor is induced from the stator without any physical contact. Hey, that’s complicated for your airy-fairy religious mind!

Joshua:    So electricity can flow from one thing to something that’s not connected to it?

Willem:    Sort of, ou pel. That’s how transformers work. That’s the phemo–meno – ag, the thing called electromagnetic induction. The electric current in one coil makes a current run in the other coil. The two coils are insulated from mekaar, but close together.

Joshua:    So, if they were far apart you wouldn’t get any current being induced?

Willem:    ‘S right. The magnetic field would be too feeble, ou, like you!

Joshua:    And of course you can’t see this magical, invisible electromagnetic induction happening?

Willem:     Of course not! You really dof sometimes ou. It’s not magic. It’s science.

Joshua:    So, why –, I don’t understand –

Willem:    Ag no, man. What now?

Joshua:    No, I sort of understand what you’re saying, but I don’t understand you.

Willem:     ‘s wrong with me, eh?

Joshua:    You understand that invisible electricity can be induced because of magnetic fields and stuff like that –

Willem:    –of course; it’s my job!

Joshua:    – but you don’t understand how God can influence me by his Spirit even though we can’t see it?

Willem:    I know there’s electricity in a thing, because my multimeter’s needle moves.

Joshua:    But you still can’t see the electricity. I want to see the electricity!

Willem:    If you hold these two wires and I switch on, you’ll blerrie-well feel it!

Joshua:    You’re telling me I can’t see electricity, but only what it does to things?

Willem:     Geez, my bru, you are clever today, hey?

Joshua:    But that’s the way God works through his Holy Spirit: you can’t see the Spirit but you see what it does. Like that chap – Jacques –who was an alcoholic and used to beat his wife: he had hands laid on him, passed out –

Willem:    He’d have passed out if I’d given him a moerse klap  –

Joshua:    – and when he got up he begged his wife for forgiveness, hasn’t touched a drop in the last 14 months, no longer loses his temper, no longer swears or even smokes. You can’t see the Holy Spirit but you can see what it does!

Willem:    Ag, jus’ pass me that blerrie spanner!

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