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Short Stories (Stories for the Youth), book by Father Tadros Yacoub Malaty

462- The Narrow Canal

 

George watched his sister, Isis, for a while. He noticed that she was suffering from some kind of bitterness and depression. He asked her what the matter was. Right away, she complained of her cousin who unfairly spoke badly of her, and ruined her reputation.

Isis expected her brother to sympathize, understand her bitterness, and condemn their cousin. She expected that he would be ready to take her side and defend her.

However, he surprised her as he gently tried to calm her. He said, I understand how bitter you feel, and I disapprove of anyone humiliating you. Nevertheless, lets be positive and show love to our cousin. Rather than reprimanding her, lets win her over to our side by showing our love for her. In this way, well save our time and hers.

Isis could not agree on Georges proposal.

St-Takla.org Image: Another river at the bottom of the valley, watercourse, stream, waterway, gully, canal - Gondar Nature - From St-Takla.org's Ethiopia visit - Photograph by Michael Ghaly for St-Takla.org, April-June 2008. صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: نهر آخر أسفل الوادي، مجرى مياه - من ألبوم صور طبيعة مدينة جوندر، الحبشة - تصوير مايكل غالي لموقع الأنبا تكلاهيمانوت، من رحلة موقع الأنبا تكلا إلى إثيوبيا، إبريل - يونيو 2008.

St-Takla.org Image: Another river at the bottom of the valley, watercourse, stream, waterway, gully, canal - Gondar Nature - From St-Takla.org's Ethiopia visit - Photograph by Michael Ghaly for St-Takla.org, April-June 2008.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: نهر آخر أسفل الوادي، مجرى مياه - من ألبوم صور طبيعة مدينة جوندر، الحبشة - تصوير مايكل غالي لموقع الأنبا تكلاهيمانوت، من رحلة موقع الأنبا تكلا إلى إثيوبيا، إبريل - يونيو 2008.

George then asked, Have you heard the folkloric story of The Narrow Canal?

He then began to tell his sister this story:

A farmer kept walking through his scorched field. The earth had become so barren. He felt very bitter as the canal had dried up and there was no way of irrigating his field. All the plants he had sown were dead. He began to reproach the canal sadly, You cruel canal, dont you know that my wife, children, and myself all live from the yield of our field? See how the fruit trees are about to die. I cant plant anything else. Refrain from your cruelty and bring me some water.

The canal answered, You thoughtless farmer, Im but a small canal, and theres nothing I can do to solve the problem. You should blame the river who is so frugal in the water he gives me.

The canal then turned to the river and started to reproach him strongly. He accused him of creating this problem between him and the farmer.

The river gently turned to God, and said, O God, look at the canal and hear his moaning due to his dryness. Here I am unable to offer him any water since Ive been deprived of the rain for quite some time. See how the fields are dry, and the trees are dying. See the poor farmer moaning as he and his family may die of hunger.

O God, You can grant us water from the clouds of Your love. You can fill me to overflow so that I could offer to the canal his needs.

Suddenly, the winds became stronger and clouds moved to cover the region. The rain poured down. The river did not find time to reproach the canal for his cruel words to him. He just filled him with water. The canal too had no time to reproach the farmer for his stern accusation, and just offered him water. As for the farmer, he began to work in his field.

It is clear that using reproach and cruel words is a sign of emptiness. When the gracious Lord fills our depth with the waters of love, we do not find the time to reproach our accusers. On the contrary, we are able to cover them with the love that enriches our inner man.

→ English translation of the story here at St-Takla.org: القناة الضيقة.

St-Takla.org Divider

O Lord, I confess the emptiness of my heart.

I have come to realize this when I have been hard on others.

I hurt their feelings when I reproach them.

Time seems to have no value and I just waste it in reproach.

 

Enrich me with the clouds of Your love.

May you fill my heart with the waters of your mercies.

Then, my heart will be filled with your blessings

And overflow onto others as I draw on Your riches.


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