I went out for an unusual stroll on the beach this evening; the air had a mossy scent and the sun shone copper red in the horizon. Though the tide was high but I was low and sunk deep in my own thoughts I walked myself enough, up to the dark thicket, to stay away from the crowd watching the sun set.
I sat on a large rock staring the foamy lash of the waves washing my feet and the rock as well. As the wave went out, a sparkle ran through my eye as it caught the sight of an extraordinary pebble, I grabbed it and wondered at its beauty. A line of turquoise blue ran around it like a belt, – “How was it at all formed?” I spoke up in awe.
To my amazement, as if in a dream, the pebble spoke, “I was not formed in a single setting of the sun, but countless.” I lent a careful ear. “One night when the whole of the air was rent with loud booms of torrents, I was torn apart from a lofty mountain top by the thunders and flooding rains, a single hit set me rolling down to the foot along with a narrow stream of water and ended me up on a cliff, I was badly bruised, yet another surge of wind stirred up a strong current and pushed me into the river below.

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Splash! I went to the bottom where I was scratched against rocky bed by the powerful streams of cold water of the river. It wouldn’t spare me even for a moment and kept dashing me into large rocks until I was broke. I lost all of my heart, tears rolled out but the water made it vanish into its own saltiness. Bruises and wounds mocked my build, while shame and grief pierced my heart.”
I rather did not speak. “Banks innumerable went by, days and seasons too, at times the sun would drink the river down to the bottom and bake it hot. Clouds yet again refilled the river of my agony with water. By now I had lost my shape against my desire, but this journey with no one even to smile at and be with, seemed perpetual. Until one day when I felt the water thicker, quieter, and the bottom deeper than ever, I quickly realised that I lay in the belly of an ocean blue and dark.” “Peace at last!”- Said I. “Not yet…”- said the pebble. “…it was the hardest of times, when I was smoothed down by the sandy ocean floor, then whirlpools carried me ashore, where I was picked up and thrown afar into the waves, and they washed me back ashore. I have now been thrown a hundred times. The last time by a whimsical kid who hurled me at a dog passing by, he missed his aim and I lay hidden below the foamy waves here at the foot of this rock.”

I was taken aback by the pains endured by this beautiful pebble; I was yet silent as it spoke the last sentence. “It was not until you found me anybody ever hinted my beauty to me.” The shining stars above turned my senses back, the air still smelt mossy, by now the moon was skimming through the sky and I left for home.
Sometimes in the darkest of our days full of pain, loneliness and mockery of men, we might give up. As for the pebble so as for us: perfected through pain. You might have set on this journey of perfection against your will and capacity to sustain, but beyond your sufferings a skilled divine hand is at work on you. What joy shall fill our crest, when we shall stand before the enthroned Lord, perfected through afflictions, and acquire the divine accolade- ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’

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Abel John


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