Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Serve and Be Served

Once some monks came to Scetis, and John the Short was with them. During supper, an eminent presbyter got up to give them each a little water to drink. No one accepted it except John the Short.

The others were surprised and said, "How is it that you, the least of all, dared to accept the ministry of a great old man?"

He replied, "When I get up to hand water round, I am glad if everyone takes it, because I have been able to do them a service and will have a reward. That's why I took it just now, to let the one who offered it have his reward; perhaps he would have been sad if no one accepted it."

They all admired his discretion.

~~Glass of Water with Coffee Pot by Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin, 1760

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