Keywords: offering, love, stewardship
From Fr. Jonathan Hemmings...
Do you remember the story from the fathers of the monk who had been a circus performer (a juggler) before he became a monk?
Others had skills in singing and chanting,in organising, farming and in cooking but this young monk could only juggle. One night having nearly despaired that he could do nothing else well, he decided to go into the church and to offer his one talent, juggling, in front of the Holy Icons of the Saviour and the Theotokos. The Abbot was awoken in dismay to discover this young monk juggling in front of the Holy Icons. He beat him without mercy and locked him in his cell.
That very night the Theotokos [Mary] visited the Abbot in a dream: "How dare you treat this precious servant of God in this manner," she warned the Abbot “Go to his cell and beg his forgiveness this very instant for this was his one talent which he has offered in love before the throne of God.” The Abbot awoke and straight way went to the cell of the monk to beg his forgiveness. That night the Abbot learned a lesson about humility, of the potential in every person and the value of every offering given in love.