THE THREE WISE
The three women watched as their husbands disappeared into the distance. It was night since their husbands’ journey was to follow some mysterious star that was supposed to announce the birth of the new king of Israel. The husbands had taken gifts fit for such a king. Gold, frankincense and myrrh rested on the backs of their sturdy camels. The women slowly turned and started to walk home.
“I still don’t understand why they had to go,” said the youngest of the women.
“I guess it’s all part of being married to a magi,” said another.
For a time they walked toward the village in silence. Then the oldest, who rarely spoke began bitterly, “For years, he has followed this star and that one. Never does he find anything. I am always left with the children. I keep the family business going. And now he chases after some foreign king with gifts that we could barely afford. I know what I would like to give that so-called king. A king living in a comfortable palace some where. I’d give him a piece of my ….”
“What would you really give him if you could?” said the youngest woman.
The old woman stopped walking. When the silence began to be uncomfortable, the old woman finally spoke. “Compassion…..that’s what I would give. He should get off of his padded throne and out of his clean palace and see to the needs of ordinary people. He should care about our hurts and needs. He should feel our pain. He should cry for us……and with us. Tears of compassion are what I would give him.”
“It’s not enough that he should feel, he should act on those feelings.” said the other woman. “He needs to feed the hungry, to heal the sick, to reach out not only to the rich and powerful, but also to the poor and the outcasts. He should be for everybody, not just a few. Hands of active love that reach out to all people, that is what I would give.”
Both women then turned to the youngest and waited.
“All I know about kings is that they take. They took my father for unpaid taxes and he died in the mines. They took my brothers for the wars and they died. I would like a king with a heart that would give, not take. A heart that would grant life, not death. A king that would give his own life to save his people. I would give him such a heart.”
For a time their was a calm quiet, then the oldest woman began to laugh. “We are as bad as the dreamers that we have for husbands. We talk of such gifts that we cannot give. Who would listen to the wild talk of three foolish women. There will never be such a king.”
Nodding their heads and blushing at their foolishness, the other two agreed. Without a further word, they went home.
In the stillness of the night, there was one who did hear their desires and God gave their gifts to the new king. Tears of compassion, hands of active love and a sacrificial heart that gave its life so that all might live. In a stable, not a palace, was born the king of those three wise women.
Never forget the true gift.