Once upon a Time…

Once upon a time, there was a girl who lived in a bustling village full of people. Each person in the village worked very hard day after day, doing their best to provide for their families.

Over time, some of the people in the village decided to venture out and try something new.  The other villagers yelled at their efforts and turned their backs on these entrepreneurs.  But not the girl, she encouraged them in their efforts. She used the last of her feeble income to help support them, to see them grow.  And they did.

Soon more people began to try new things. The villagers did their best to ignore them, to turn their backs, to scoff. But the girl worked longer hours in the field so that she could contribute to their efforts to improve, fore she knew that one day, she too would try.

Finally, her day came. Excitedly she journeyed to the bath house in preparation for her chance. But when she stepped out into the market square she was met with hostility from some and ignored entirely by others. But the girl held her head high, for she knew in her soul that all those she had supported would step in and support her. She knew that if she just held out long enough, they would come.

But they never did.  The villagers began to hurl mud and dung at her and while she tried to stand firm like a warrior, eventually night fell and she grew weary.  Dirty and exhausted, she returned to her humble home, giving up her dreams.

The next day, she sat among the ashes, full of sadness and feeling worthless. She had failed. Where were the others?

Lucifer, who had been sitting quietly in wait, slid into the ashes next to her.

The King, however, watched from a distance, hoping she would step out of the ashes. Hoping she would reject the lies and see the truth. But she did not.

Eventually, she saw him in the distance, and she ran to him, pouring out her anguish, eager for him to comfort her.

“Why did you help the others,” he asked gently.

“So that when it was my turn they would help me,” she answered honestly.

“If you only helped them so that they would later help you, was that really done with the right heart?”

And suddenly she understood. She dusted off and walked slowly back to the village.

-Ande