Mother is always with you.
Whenever you think of Her,
She sees your faces.
At night She visits her children
all over the world.
Her children are her swans;
She watches and gathers the strays.
You are all baby birds
tucked under Mother's wing.
Sand and Stone
A story tells that two friends were walking through
the desert. During some point of the journey, they
had an argument, and one friend slapped the other
one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt,
but without saying anything, he wrote in the sand:
Today my best friend slapped me in the face.
They kept on walking, until they found an oasis,
where they decided to take a bath. The one who had
been slapped got stuck in the mire and started
drowning, but his friend saved him. After he
recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone:
Today my best friend saved my life.
The friend, who had slapped and saved his best
friend, asked him, "After I hurt you, you wrote in
the sand, and now, you write on a stone, why?"
The other friend replied: "When someone hurts us,
we should write it down in sand, where the winds of
forgiveness can erase it away, but when someone
does something good for us, we must engrave it in
stone where no wind can ever erase it.
Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve
your blessings in stone.
One day a teacher asked her students
to list the names of the other students
in the room on two sheets of paper,
leaving a space between each name
Then she told them to think of the nicest
thing they could say about each
of their classmates and write it down
It took the remainder of the class
period to finish their assignment,
and as the students left the room,
each one handed in the papers
That Saturday, the teacher wrote down
the name of each student on a
separate sheet of paper,
and listed what everyone else
had said about that individual
On Monday she gave each
student his or her list
the entire class was smiling
'Really?' she heard whispered
'I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!'
and, 'I didn't know others liked me so much,
were most of the comments
No one ever mentioned those papers
in class again
She never knew if they discussed
them after class or with their parents,
but it didn't matter
The exercise had accomplished its
The students were happy with
themselves and one another
That group of students moved on
Several years later, one of the students was
killed in VietNam and his teacher attended
the funeral of that special student
She had never seen a serviceman
in a military coffin before
He looked so handsome, so mature
The church was packed with his friends
One by one those who loved him
took a last walk by the coffin
The teacher was the last one
to bless the coffin
As she stood there, one of the soldiers who
acted as pallbearer came up to her
'Were you Mark's math teacher?' he asked
She nodded: 'yes'
Then he said: 'Mark talked about you a lot
After the funeral, most of Mark's former
classmates went together to a luncheon
Mark's mother and father were there,
obviously waiting to speak with his teacher
'We want to show you something,' his father
said, taking a wallet out of his pocket
'They found this on Mark when he was killed
We thought you might recognize it
Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two
worn pieces of notebook paper that
had obviously been taped,
folded and refolded many times
The teacher knew without looking
that the papers were the ones on
which she had listed all the good
things each of Mark's classmates
had said about him
'Thank you so much for doing that,'
Mark's mother said,
'As you can see, Mark treasured it
All of Mark's former classmates
started to gather around
Charlie smiled rather
sheepishly and said,
I still have my list
It's in the top drawer
of my desk at home
Chuck's wife said,
'Chuck asked me to put his in
our wedding album..'
'I have mine too,' Marilyn said
'It's in my diary'
Then Vicki, another classmate,
reached into her pocketbook,
took out her wallet and showed her
worn and frazzled list to the group
'I carry this with me at all times,
Vicki said and without batting
an eyelash, she continued:
'I think we all saved our lists'
That's when the teacher finally
sat down and cried
She cried for Mark and for all his
friends who would never see
The density of people in society
is so thick that we forget that
life will end one day
And we don't know when that
one day will be
So please, tell the people you
love and care for,
that they are special and important
Tell them, before it is too late
A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the Sun to bake.
They didn't look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could.
He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone!
Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left. Then it struck him. He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!
It's like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn't look like much from the outside. It isn't always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it.
We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy but we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.
There is a treasure in each and every one of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.
May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May we see the people in our world as God sees them.
I am so blessed by the gems of friendship I have with each of you. Thank you for looking beyond my clay vessel...