The grass-cutter and his stone

God never discourages any seeker after truth by saying that he or his beliefs are wrong, but He so orders it that by degrees the man himself learns to recognise his errors and distinguish the truth. The story is told of a poor grass-cutter who found a beautiful stone in the jungle. He had often heard about diamonds, and thought this was one. He took it to the jeweller’s shop and showed it with delight to the jeweller. Being a kind and sympathetic man, the jeweller saw that if he were to tell the grass-cutter that his stone was not a diamond, either he would not believe it, or it would be such a shock to him that his whole hope would be brought down to the dust. The jeweller, therefore, laid his plans so that the poor man might find out the mistake for himself. He gave him some work in his shop, and kept him there till he began to be able to distinguish the varieties of diamonds and their prices. Then the jeweller told him to bring along his stone. Up till this time the grass-cutter had kept it carefully hidden away in a box. He now opened it out, and saw with amazement that it was worthless. He turned pale, and came and fell at the feet of his kind master, and said, “I am very thankful for your goodness and sympathy. You did not destroy my hope, but made such a plan that I now know my mistake without any one’s help. Now I want to stay always with such a master, and spend the rest of my life in your service.” This is how God brings back to the way of the truth those who have wandered away into error, so that when they learn the truth for themselves they will follow Him, and give Him the service of their whole lives.

– Sundar Singh

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