Monday 26 September 2011

Parable of the Bamboo

As I pondered upon the meaning of humility earlier today, I came across this story which describes it...

Once upon a time there was a beautiful garden.
There in the cool of the day the Master of the garden would walk. Of all the denizens of the garden, the most beloved was a gracious and noble Bamboo.

Year after year, Bamboo grew yet more noble and gracious, conscious of his Master’s love and watchful delight, but he was always modest and gentle.

Often, when Wind came to revel in the garden, Bamboo would cast aside his grave stateliness, to dance and play merrily, tossing and swaying and leaping and bowing in joyous abandon, leading the garden in the Great Dance which most delighted the Master's heart.

One day, the Master drew near to contemplate His Bamboo with eyes of curious expectancy. Bamboo, in a passion of adoration, bowed his great head to the ground in loving greeting.

The Master spoke, “Bamboo, I wish to use you.”

Bamboo flung his head to the sky in utter delight. The day had come, the day for which he had been made, the day to which he had been growing hour by hour, the day in which he would find his completion and his destiny. His voice became low. “Master, I am ready. Use me as You will.”
“Bamboo,” the Master's voice was grave, “I will have to take you and cut you down.”

A trembling of great horror shook Bamboo. “Cut me down? Oh, not that! Use me for Your joy, Master, but please do not cut me down.”

“Beloved Bamboo,” the Master's voice grew even graver, “If I do not cut you down, I cannot use you.”
The garden grew still. Wind held his breath. Bamboo slowly bent his proud and glorious head, and he whispered, “Master, if you can't use me unless you cut me down, then, do Your will and cut.”

“Bamboo, beloved Bamboo, I will have to cut your leaves and branches as well.”

“Master, spare me. Cut me down and lay my beauty in the dust, but would You also take from me my leaves and branches?”

“If I do not cut them away, I cannot use you.” Sun had hid his face. Listening Butterfly glided fearfully away. Bamboo shivered in terrible expectancy, whispering low, “Master cut away.”
“I'll have to cleave you in two and cut out your heart, for if not, I can't use you.” Bamboo bowed to the ground in sorrow. “Master, then cut and cleave.”

The Master of the Garden took Bamboo and cut him down and hacked off his branches and stripped him of his leaves and clove him in two and cut out his heart. Lifting him gently, the Master carried him where there was a spring of fresh, sparkling water in the midst of His dry fields.

Then, putting one end of broken Bamboo in the spring, and the other end into the water channel in His field, the Master laid down gently His beloved Bamboo. The spring sang welcome, and the clear, sparkling water raced joyously down the channel of Bamboo's torn body into the waiting fields. Then the rice was planted, and the days went by, and the shoots grew, and the harvest came.

In that day, Bamboo, once so glorious in his stately beauty, was yet glorious in his brokenness and humility. For in his beauty he became a channel of abundant life to his Master's world.
(Taken from Surprised by Truth -  His Open Arms Welcomed Me by Patrick Madrid)

-An ancient Chinese parable which paints a vivid picture of what it means to surrender oneself to Christ-

“Verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it stays alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit.” (John 12:24)

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