A fair widow noticed that her young children would always run away from her upon her returning home from work fully exhausted. She wondered, “Why should I bear this heavy cross? My husband died leaving me with three children. I’m still young. Why should I work hard, day in and day out and suffer with no one to comfort me? I’m left on my own and hated by all, even by my children. What wrong have I done? My cross is intolerable.”
One day she knelt before God asking Him to take away her soul, as she could no longer bear it. She went to bed and in a dream she saw a room full of crosses, some big, some small, some white and some black, and the Lord Jesus were there in His tender loving care looking at her and asking, “What are you complaining about? Give Me your cross, which seems unbearable to you and choose for yourself another one to carry to protect you throughout your life.”
She felt relieved upon hearing that and quickly put her cross in the Lord’s hands. She reached for a small cross that looked light. As she tried to lift it, she found that it was too heavy. She asked the Lord about that cross. The Lord in turn explained that it was a cross of a young lady suffering from paralysis at a very early age, incapable of moving and hence not enjoying her life. Nobody and no friends to cheer and comfort her. The lady was astonished and inquired about the shape and size of that cross, “By the look of things, it doesn’t appear that way.” The Lord explained, “The bearer thankfully accepted it from Me with no complaints, that’s why it looks small and light.”
The lady moved on towards another cross that also looked small and light. As she started to lift it, she again felt not only its heavy weight but also as if it was a piece of iron in flames. Instantaneously she dropped it, crying from pain. “Whose cross is this? She asked.”
The Lord replied, “That is the cross of a lady whose husband was indeed an evil one, mistreating and abusing her and her children but she bears her cross in patience and prays for the salvation of her spouse’s soul.”
As she moved towards a third small and light one it felt as cold as ice. She cried, “Whose cross is that?”
The Lord answered, “That Is the cross of a lady who lost her six children. When loosing them one by one she used to ask for comfort till they all meet in Paradise.”
The Lady threw herself before the Lord and cried, “I’ll carry the cross You gave me,
Asking You O Master to carry it with me.
My sufferings are but delight with You.
My grief no distress if from You.
You transform my bitterness to honey.
Let me bear my cross in thanksgiving,
And kindly carry it with me O Savior of my soul.”
(2) C.F. “El-Bostan” magazine, St. Mark Church, Washington, October 1989.
The Burnt Cake
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