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A Poem of Holy Days

Once upon a time there was a wonderful King that ruled a Kingdom. The King was always doing fine and wonderful things for His people. The people desired in their hearts to worship and glorify the King and His wonderful deeds. So the King planned appointed times each year: special times for celebrations to tell the stories of His deeds to the people's children and to glorify the

King.The King wrote the instructions of how to observe these celebrations in a book called the Book of Wisdom. For many years the people enjoyed these celebrations. Each year they would learn more about their King and feel closer to Him. They realized the King's celebrations were not only to tell stories of the things the King had done for His people in the past, but also foreshadows of more fine things the King was planning to do for them in the future.

There was another kingdom that did not worship the King. They worshiped objects such as statues, animals, trees, and the sun. In this other kingdom, the people practiced several different annual parties that gloried the people and the objects instead of the King. Each party had a different theme. In some they dressed up like animals and other beings. In some they decorated their homes and gave gifts to each other.

Then a man from this other kingdom visited the King's kingdom and told the people the annual parties were much more fun than the King's celebrations. Some of the people wanted to continue celebrating the ceremonies that worshiped the King. Other people wanted to replace the special celebrations with the new celebrations. Through the years people started to combine both sets of

celebrations. They would practice the annual parties, meant to worship objects such as statues, animals, trees, and the sun, but they would say that they were worshiping the King, not the object, so everyone would be happy. They changed the appointed times of the King's celebrations to new times that coincided with the annual parties. The people of both kingdoms were combining so many traditions that no one could tell that there were two kingdoms. The kingdoms blended into each other. This continued for many years until the most recent generations forgot the celebrations that the King planned that glorified the King and His wonderful deeds to the people.

One day a man was reading the Book of Wisdom. He came across a little known chapter that told about the King's appointed times each year: special times for celebrations to tell the stories of his deeds to the people's children and to glorify the King. He was so excited! He went to tell the people about the wonderful celebrations. This made the people very angry. They felt that the

man was condemning them for traditions that they had innocently done all their lives. They did not understand.

The man was sad, but he decided to keep the King's celebrations in his own family. The man's family learned much about the King. In fact, each year the man and his family grew closer and closer to the King because of the wonderful stories they had learned about during the celebrations. The man and his family learned that the King had special secrets that revealed foreshadows of more fine things the King was planning to do for them. That man wanted so much to share these stories with others. Even though the man was continually rejected, he continued to tell about the King's celebrations. After a while, a few other families (who had always felt uncomfortable about the annual parties they kept) listened to the man. They read the chapter in the Book of Wisdom and also got excited. Soon many people returned to celebrating the King's appointed times, worshiping and telling stories about the King. This made the King very happy!


By Robert Peterson

She was six years old when I first met her on the beach near where I live. I drive to this beach, a distance of three or four miles, whenever the world begins to close in on me. She was building a sandcastle or something and looked up, her eyes as blue as the sea "Hello," she said. I answered with a nod, not really in the mood to bother with a small child. "I'm building," she said. "I see that. What is it?" I asked, not caring. "Oh, I don't know, I just like the feel of sand." That sounds good, I thought, and slipped off my shoes. A sandpiper glided by. "That's a joy," the child said. "It's a what?" "It's a joy. My mama says sandpipers come to bring us joy." The bird went gliding down the beach. "Good-bye joy," I muttered to myself, "hello pain," and turned to walk on. I was depressed; my life seemed completely out of balance. "What's your name?" She wouldn't give up.

"Robert," I answered. "I'm Robert Peterson." "Mine's Wendy... I'm six." "Hi, Wendy." She giggled. "You're funny," she said. In spite of my gloom I laughed too and walked on. Her

musical giggle followed me. "Come again, Mr. P," she called. "We'll have another happy day."

The days and weeks that followed belonged to others: a group of unruly Boy Scouts, PTA meetings, and an ailing mother. The sun was shining one morning as took my hands out of the dishwater. "I need a sandpiper," I said to myself, gathering up my coat. The ever-changing balm of the seashore awaited me. The breeze was chilly, but I strode along, trying to recapture the serenity I needed. I had forgotten the child and was startled when she appeared. "Hello, Mr. P," she said. "Do you want to play?" "What did you have in mind?" I asked, with a twinge of annoyance. "I don't know, you say." "How about charades?" I asked sarcastically. The tinkling laughter burst forth again. "I don't know what that is." "Then let's just walk." Looking at her, I noticed the delicate fairness of her face. "Where do you live?" I asked. "Over there." She pointed toward a row of summer cottages. Strange, I thought, in winter."Where do you go to school?"

"I don't go to school. Mommy says we're on vacation." She chattered little girl talk as we strolled up the beach, but my mind was on other things. When I left for home, Wendy said it had been a happy day. Feeling surprisingly better, I smiled at her and agreed.

Three weeks later, I rushed to my beach in a state of near panic. I was in no mood to even greet Wendy. I thought I saw her mother on the, porch and felt like demanding she keep her child at home. "Look, if you don't mind," I said crossly when Wendy caught up with me, "I'd rather be alone today." She seems unusually pale and out of breath. "Why?" she asked. I turned to her and shouted, "Because my mother died!" and I thought, "My God, why was I saying this to a=20

little child?" "Oh," she said quietly, "then this is a bad day." "Yes," I said, "and yesterday and the day before and-oh, go away!" "Did it hurt? " she inquired. "Did what hurt?" I was exasperated with her, with myself. "When she died?" "Of course it hurt!" I snapped, misunderstanding,=20

wrapped up in myself. I strode off.

A month or so after that, when I next went to the beach, she wasn't there. Feeling guilty, ashamed and admitting to myself I missed her, I went up to the cottage after my walk and knocked at the door. A drawn looking young woman with honey-colored hair opened the door.

"Hello," I said. "I'm Robert Peterson. I missed your little girl today and wondered where she was." "Oh yes, Mr. Peterson, please come in. Wendy spoke of you so much. I'm afraid I allowed her to bother you. If she was a nuisance, please, accept my apologies.""Not at all-she's a delightful child," I said, suddenly realizing that I meant what I had just said. "Wendy died last week, Mr. Peterson. She had leukemia. Maybe she didn't tell you."Struck dumb, I groped for a chair. I had to catch my breath.

"She loved this beach; so when she asked to come, we couldn't say no. She seemed so much better here and had a lot of what she called happy days. But the last few weeks, she declined rapidly... Her voice faltered, "She left something for you ... if only I can find it.Could you wait a moment while I look?" I nodded stupidly, my mind racing for something, to say to this lovely young woman. She handed me a smeared envelope, with MR. P printed in bold childish letters. Inside was a drawing in bright crayon hues- a yellow beach, a blue sea, and a brown bird. Underneath was carefully printed: A SANDPIPER TO BRING YOU JOY.

Tears welled up in my eyes and a heart that had almost forgotten to love opened wide. I took Wendy's mother in my arms. "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry," I muttered over and over, and we wept together. The precious little picture is framed now and hangs in my study. Six words - one for each year of her life- that speak to me of harmony, courage, and undemanding

love. A gift from a child with sea-blue eyes and hair the color of sand - who taught me the gift of love.

NOTE: This is a true story sent out by Robert Peterson. It serves as a reminder to all of us that we need to take time to enjoy living and life and each other. "The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less." Life is so complicated, the hustle and bustle of everyday traumas can make us lose focus about what is truly important or what is only a monetary setback or crisis.

This weekend, be sure to give your loved ones an extra hug, and by all means, take a moment..even if it is only ten seconds, to stop and smell the roses. This comes from someone's heart, and is shared with many and now I share it with you.

May God Bless everyone that receives this! There are NO coincidences! Everything that happens to us happens for a reason. Never brush aside anyone as insignificant. Who knows what they can teach us?

The Above posting were sent to me in an E-Mail, Michael.

The above came to me through a forwarded e-mail....