The abbot left without a word and without ever looking back. The next morning, the abbot called his monks together. He told them he had spoken to the old rabbi from the woods and then he looked at his assembled brothers and said bluntly, “The rabbi said that one of us is the Messiah.”
In the days and weeks that followed, the old monks began to think about the rabbi’s words and wondered whether it could actually be true – the Messiah is one of us?
Thinking like this, the old monks began to treat each other with extraordinary respect on the off chance that one of them just might actually be the Messiah. And on the off, off chance that each monk himself might be the Messiah, they began to treat themselves with extraordinary respect.
A gentle, warm-hearted, concern began to grow among them which was hard to describe but easy to notice. Over time, as people visited the beautiful forest in which the monastery was home, they sensed the extraordinary respect that now began to surround the old monks and seemed to radiate out from them.
There was something strangely attractive, even compelling, about it. Hardly knowing why, people began to come back to the monastery more frequently to picnic, to play, to meditate and pray. They began to bring their friends to show them this special place, and their friends brought their friends.
Then it happened that some of the younger men who came to visit the monastery started to talk more and more with the old monks. After a while one asked if he could join them. Then another. And another. And it happened, that within a few years the monastery had once again become a thriving order and light to the community, thanks to the rabbi’s gift, a gift that taught them to look at and love others expecting the very best.
Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.