this is a story (paraphrased) told to me by a lovely turkish sufi may 10th, 2009. earlier on i had told him a little bit about how things had been dark with my life, but how i was emerging into the light. he said that he loved hearing stories of suffering, but not why you would think. he shared the following with me:

once outside the palace walls sat two beggars. one had a beautiful voice and was well-spoken and could have been a singer his voice was so lovely. the other croaked and squeaked, his voice unpleasant to hear. one day the gates opened and the king (because there’s always a king in these stories) gave the not-nice voiced beggar bags of coins and valuables. he left, leaving the soft-voiced beggar at the gates.

when questioned as to his motives for rewarding the untalented beggar, the king answered, “i want to hear the beautiful voice longer and keep it closer to me a little longer.”

sometimes we don’t understand why things happen to us, but if we could, it would probably make it a lot more tolerable.