I love parables. Here's one I thought of.
There came a knock at my door. I opened it to find a mid-eastern man on my porch.
"Good day" he said, "I've got great news for you."
"Do tell" I said, "I could use some good news."
"I am the world's greatest fireman, and I'm here to save you from certain death."
"Ok, I'm intrigued" I said, "Tell me about this deal.'
"Simple" he says, "you just pay me and dad weekly, help out at the firehouse, tell everyone you know about the great fireman, and in exchange I'll keep you safe from the fire."
"Alright, just for the sake of discussion, what if I never have a fire?"
"Oh you will" he said solemnly, "everyone is going to have a fire. Dad is going to burn everything."
"Now why would your dad do that?" I inquired.
"Here's the scoop. Dad owns everything and runs everything. When the first house was built here, dad told them to build any style they chose, but no porch. Absolutely forbidden."
"Why no porches?" I was beginning to distrust this guy.
"I told you, he owns everything and runs everything. He said no porch and that was that. But the people built a porch anyway, and dad decided then and there to burn every house in this place."
"That's horrible!" I said, "why not just tear it down or get new tenants or teach them a lesson about porches and go on? Why burn everyone?"
"I know, I know, everything. Your dad does some odd things though."
"Dad works in mysterious ways. Anyways, it's not all bad. If you just do as I said I'll keep your house safe."
I'm starting to get a little suspicious at this point, so I say "you don't seem to have any fire equipment."
"Again, simple" he said, "if you believe I'll put out the fire, I will. Small fires, trash fires, just believe I'll take care of it and I will, even though you'll never see or hear me."
"Ok, how do I get in touch with you?" I'm really starting to doubt this guy now.
"Easy. Just think 'I'm in trouble and I need you and bam!' I'm there. It's all in this book 'the official book by dad'."
"Again, I'm having a little trouble understanding. How do I know this book is an official anything?"
"You're a little slow aren't you?" he says. "It clearly states in the first page ' this is dad's official book'. Couldn't be any plainer."
"Ok, let me see if I understand you" I said, "if I pay your dad and do everything he says, you're going to save me from a fire that your dad's going to start because somebody pissed him off long ago, with equipment I can't see and no communication other than thinking in your direction?"
"Exactly!" he exclaims, "I'm so glad you get it."
I shut the door.