“Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
~I Thessalonians 5:16-18
Members and Friends,
In this season of Thanksgiving, it’s become my tradition to share fables or folktales about gratitude. Here’s an excerpt fromThe Wise Fool: Fables from the Islamic World, by Shahurkh Husain:
“Treading on God’s Gifts”*
‘How beautiful the rain looks,’ thought the Mulla, watching from his window. ‘It washes everything clean and makes the flowers and trees grow. It is truly one of the most beautiful signs of God’s grace.’
Just then, the peaceful view of the square with the rain pelting down on the flowers and trees was interrupted by a figure dashing through it. It was Enver, the Mulla’s neighbor from two doors down. The Mulla stood up and leaned forward a little. ‘Enver! Enver, my friend! Why are you running?’ he called as Enver got nearer. ‘To get out of the rain, of course,’ yelled Enver without stopping, swerving sharply towards his house. ‘What a terrible, terrible shame!’ Mulla Nasruddin called back. ‘Rain is one of God’s great gifts. I can’t believe that people try to run away from it. No wonder God asks in the holy book: How many of my gifts will you deny?’ The Mulla noticed with satisfaction that Enver was slowing down even though the rain was getting heavier. ‘A job well done,’ he thought. ‘I have managed to do some good.’ And he settled back to watch the rain, until he became so mesmerized by the falling drops that he began to doze.
‘Khoja!’ called his friend Jamal, knocking at the window. ‘The rain has let up for a bit. Do you fancy some coffee at Aydin’s shop? I hear he has some fresh baklava just in.’ The Mulla was never one to turn down fresh baklava; and besides, Aydin served excellent coffee with just the right amount of cardamom. He heaved himself up and joined Jamal. The baklava was as fresh and crisp as he had hoped, and the coffee as rich. When he had finished, the Mulla looked out at the sky and saw that it was beginning to cloud over again. ‘I think I’ll get back home,’ he said. ‘It looks as if there’s more rain coming.’ A bank of clouds had built up in the sky and, just as he stepped into the square, the first drops splattered the Mulla’s face and shoulders. Quick as a lightning flash, he grabbed the folds of his trousers and sprinted across the square.
‘Are you running away from the rain, Khoja?’ called Enver’s startled voice from his window. ‘What does it look like to you?’ replied the Mulla, crustily. ‘I thought you said it was shameful to deny God’s greatest gifts?’ And the Mulla replied, ‘So it is. So it is, my friend. Now don’t distract me — I mustn’t tread on a single one of God’s precious gift of raindrops.’
A joyful and grateful Thanksgiving season to you!
In Christ’s Peace,