Thursday, April 28, 2005

Faithful Friend

There was a pleasant woman who’s husband was heir to the king. She was living in a blessed land, full of good things and wine on the lees. But the Lord made the sky brass for a time to see if the woman would remember that it was He that made the early and the latter rains.

The woman quickly forgot. She had two vigorous boys but she was growing bitter about the weather and named her boys Sick One and Failing One. It was cruel to call boys such names but they fully lived up to her expectations.

She decided to leave the good land because she heard that it was raining on the other side of the river. When she arrived there, she found that it was true and she was happy for a time. But the husband, longing for his own land, grew weary, took ill and died. She consoled herself that her princely sons would grow to take their father’s place. She had them take wives so that children could be raised up to her but even though they were in the rainy land, these sickly boys could not produce an heir. They finally obeyed their mother’s faith, fell deathly ill and perished.

At the right time, the rains began to fall in the land across the river from which she had come and the bitter woman rose up to seek her bread in the land of her nativity. Her daughters-in-law had grown to love her and desired to return with her.

The first daughter made loud protestations about her intentions to dwell with her mother but on their way towards the river, she kept looking over her shoulder at her brother who was standing on the high places near their mount of sacrifice. Finally, the bitter mother gave her a quick blessing and bade her run home.

The second daughter was a dear friend and refused to look back at her brother and father who were also standing on the same mount. She willfully and steadfastly kept her gaze on the river or on the face of her bitter mother-in-law. The mother-in-law often looked at her to see if she was looking over her shoulder but never caught her doing so. And so she found out who was the faithful daughter.

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