November 25, 2008

The Gift, the Giver, and the Stranger

I was searching for an old and "gone" web page in the Way Back Machine yesterday. I came across this old parable, perhaps an overly romanticized notion of the "gift of submission", but it brought back fond memories, I have not seen it in many years, and now share it.

The Gift, the Giver, the Rebel, the Thief, and the Stranger and his Glue
author unknown

The Giver was alone, and the Gift unused: the Giver felt lonely, and sought to find someone worthy of the Gift.

The Rebel came along and saw the Gift the Giver possessed, and desired the Gift for himself. Rather than ask the Giver for the Gift, or ask what the Giver wanted for the Gift, the Rebel decided that social rules did not apply to him, and simply said "Give me the gift."

The Giver knew that the Gift was fragile and would be destroyed if mistreated, and did not trust the Rebel; for how many of those who are impolite are also delicate? But the Giver did not wish to offend, and so said to the Rebel "I am sorry, but this Gift is for someone else."

The Rebel grew angry and blustered "But I deserve the Gift. I am special and I deserve that things be given to me."

The Giver, glad to have trusted her first instinct, merely repeated: "I am sorry, but this Gift is for someone else." And the Rebel, still complaining, went his way.

The Giver sat under a willow tree, contemplating the Gift and wondering about the qualities needed to really appreciate the Gift; as she was sitting there the sun and the breeze and the sound of the creek below lulled her into a doze.

The Thief, who had overheard the Rebel and the Giver, was waiting for just this moment. Dashing out from behind a nearby bush, he made a grab for the Gift; grasping it he started to run away. However, the Giver was awakened by this and reached out to stop the Thief.

"Give that back!" cried the Giver. "It is not yours! You have no right!" So saying, she reached out, trying to retrieve the Gift.

The Thief said "I do not care if it was not mine, I have possession of it so it is now my property." And so saying, he pulled again at the Gift, hoping to wrench it from the Giver.

In the ensuing struggle, the Gift was fouled, battered, and broken. The Thief, deciding he did not want a damaged Gift, finally let go and said "You keep it; it is now worthless."

The Giver cried at the state of the Gift, which she had hoped to find someone worthy of; it was dirty, pieces were missing and scattered in the grass around her, and the intact parts were bent and dented. She began to believe the Thief's assessment of the Gift: perhaps it no longer mattered who it belonged to, worthless as it was.

But then she noticed that her tears made clean streaks on the Gift as they fell, and she thought that perhaps if some of it could be cleaned, all of it could; perhaps she could make her Gift have worth once again. She took the Gift and its broken pieces to the creek, where she began to wash them.

The Gift was easy to clean, but in trying to wash the pieces that had been broken from it, the Giver lost one. She began to lose hope again. Yet she was still determined to try to repair the Gift.

Hours passed as she fit pieces back together where they would stay. Some pieces she could not make stay, however. From behind her, a voice: "Perhaps this Glue could help you mend your Gift". She turned to see a Stranger, holding a small tube of Glue. She took the Glue and thanked the Stranger, then finished repairing her Gift with the Stranger's Glue.

When she turned to give the Glue back to the Stranger, he was gone. She thought to herself that this Stranger had thought her Gift worthy enough to donate his Glue, and not even demand payment, nor even ask for the Glue to be returned. Perhaps her Gift had worth after all.

And as she sat and contemplated her Gift, she realized that the Stranger was the type of person who would neither ask nor demand a Gift, nor would he take, but rather he would give. And she thought to herself that the Stranger was a Giver too. And who better to appreciate a Gift but a Giver?

So she sought out the Stranger, and when she found him, she tried to return the Glue to him. He thanked her, but said that she should keep the Glue, in case the Gift should break again.

And the Giver said "In that case, you should accept the Glue, for I wish to give the Gift to you." And so saying, she placed the Gift in the Stranger's hands.

The Stranger looked at the Gift, and said "This is too precious; I do not know if I can take care of this Gift." The Giver said "I believe that you can, and I will stay with you and help you care for the Gift when you falter."

So the Stranger and the Giver took the Gift together, sharing in it and sharing it, and held it as an example for all to see.


  1. Beautiful sentiments,, truly...


  2. No fair making me cry at work! ;) Yes I know big sap over here.

    But...I have met each in turn, the rebel, the thief and the stranger. As romanticized as it may be, for me, this parable is truly on the money.

    Thank you for posting. I will send this to Maitre, who is my Stranger, my Giver. With his glue we mend my gift a little each day, together.

  3. I've met the thief. Perhaps I married the rebel. I wonder if I'll find the stranger with the glue.

    Beautiful parable. It applies to more than just submission I believe.

  4. I definitely married the Rebel and I dated many a thief...I believe I have found the stranger but Rebels and thieves can often cloak themselves as strangers....

  5. Ok, me too. Married the rebel, dated the thief, and the stranger and I have met. He is a very patient man, and is waiting.

    This parable is so nice to read, and it's even better that it's been posted by a man who "gets" it.

    Thank you,

  6. That was hot- thank you, I needed this…

  7. Thank you for posting this it made a lot of sense to me and as Kyra says it applies to many things not only submission.


  8. thank you for the comment and what a very nice post.

  9. What a lovely story. I was with a thief for a long time. I finally met the stranger, just when I'd given up.

  10. ohhhhhhhhh... I do love this story.. can I translate it to dutch... I will place a link back to you... I never read this before and I absolutely love it...


  11. Very inspiring and incredibly beautiful. thank-you

  12. came here by lessa, who translated this in Dutch, i am moved by it...

    I married the Thief....
    And then i met the Stranger, but by circumstances caused by a Rebel we lost sight of each other.
    And the after 2 years, i met the Stranger again...
    so now i am divorcing the Thief...

    Thanx for sharing this story..
    Have a merry Christmas...

    The rebel starte