I so wish that I could take credit for this one.  As far as I know the author is unknown and after reading it I am not surprised.  The humliliy of the story matches the humility of the author.  Its wisdom and depth is glorious and since it is the season when we all think about gifts, I thought I would share it.  I think that the one in the story with the real gift is……well, you can certainly determine that yourselves:

A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream.  The next day she met another traveler who was hungry and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food.  The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him.  She did so without hesitation.  The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune.  He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime.  But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.

“I’ve been thinking,” he said, “I know how valuable the stone is, but I gave it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious.  Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me that stone”.

Enough said…….