What do we have to give?

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 give 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 the stone.”

What do we have to give, those of us who don’t have a precious stone in our bag? Is it enough if we give what we can? And if we do have that stone and someone asks for it, are we open enough to give it up? How many people would give up their security for a stranger? Not many. How many would give up something of value to us to help a stranger?

We are all travelers on our own paths. We are all hungry and looking for precious stones. But what is most important is what is within us, and what we are willing to share. Don’t hesitate to give what you can, when you can.