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There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn
not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest,
in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance
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The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the
third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall. When they
had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe
what they had seen.
The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted.
The second son said no-it was covered with green buds and full
The third son disagreed, he said it was laden with blossoms that
smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful
thing he had ever seen.
The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and
drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.
The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because
they had each seen but ONLY one season in the tree’s life. He told
them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season,
and that the essence of who they are – and the pleasure, joy, and
love that come from that life – can only be measured at the end,
when all the seasons are up.
If you give up when it’ s winter, you will miss the promise
of your spring, the beauty of your summer, fulfillment of
Don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest.
Don’t judge life by one difficult season.
Persevere through the difficult patches and better times are
sure to come some time or later.
It all depends on how we look at things, and not on how things are in themselves.
The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.
~ Carl Jung ~
Flowers often grow more beautifully on dung-hills than in gardens that look beautifully kept.
~ Saint Francis de Sales ~
Sorrow was beautiful, but his beauty was the beauty of the moonlight shining through the leafy branches of the trees in the woods. His gentle light made little pools of silver here and there on the soft green moss of the forest floor. And when he sang, his song was like the low, sweet calls of the nightingale, and in his eyes was the unexpectant gaze of someone who has ceased to look for coming gladness. He could weep in tender sympathy with those who weep, but to rejoice with those who rejoice was unknown to him.
Joy was beautiful, too, but hers was the radiant beauty of a summer morning. Her eyes still held the happy laughter of childhood, and her hair glistened with the sunshine’s kiss. When she sang, her voice soared upward like a skylark’s, and her steps were the march of a conqueror who has never known defeat. She could rejoice with anyone who rejoices, but to weep with those who weep was unknown to her.
Sorrow longingly said, “We can never be united as one.” “No, never,” responded Joy, with eyes misting as she spoke, “for my path lies through the sunlit meadows, the sweetest roses bloom when I arrive, and songbirds await my coming to sing their most joyous melodies.”
“Yes, and my path,” said Sorrow, turning slowly away, “leads through the dark forest, and moonflowers, which open only at night, will fill my hands. Yet, the sweetest of all earthly songs — the love song of the night — will be mine. So farewell, dear Joy, farewell.”
Yet even as Sorrow spoke, he and Joy became aware of someone standing beside them. In spite of the dim light, they sensed a Kingly Presence, and suddenly a great and holy awe overwhelmed them. They then sank to their knees before Him.
“I see Him as the King of Joy,” whispered Sorrow, ” for on His head are many crowns, and the nailprints in His hands and feet are the scars of great victory. And before Him all my sorrow is melting away into deathless love and gladness. I now give myself to Him forever.”
“No, Sorrow,” said Joy softly, “for I see Him as the King of Sorrow, and the crown on His head is a crown of thorns, and the nailprints in His hands and feet are the scars of terrible agony. I also give myself to Him forever, for sorrow with Him must be sweeter than any joy I have ever known.”
Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing – 2 Corinthians : 6 : 10
“Then we are one in Him,” they cried in gladness, “for no one but He could unite Joy and Sorrow.” Therefore they walked hand in hand into the world, to follow Him through storms and sunshine, through winter’s severe cold and warmth of summer’s gladness, and to be “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.”
Does Sorrow lay his hand upon your shoulders,
And walk with you in silence on life’s way,
While Joy, your bright companion once, grown colder,
Becomes to you more distant day by day?
Run not from the companionship of Sorrow,
He is the messenger of God to thee;
And you will thank Him in His great tomorrow —
For what you do not know now, you will then see;
He is God’s angel, clothed in veils of night,
With whom “we walk by faith” and “not by sight”
2 Corinthians : 5 : 7