Every person has a unique calling in some area of their life. No two people have precisely the same call. In the area of your calling, you must be willing to take your unique risk. This story, narrated by Dr. Marc Gafni in one of his unpublished works, illustrates this point beautifully: `
Every year at the time of the harvest festival two brothers would travel to visit their teacher. Being wise men themselves they were heedful of the advice of the sages who taught that one should always sleep at the same inn.
And so this year as they greet their now long-time friend the innkeeper, they notice that he is more downcast and listless than they have ever seen him before. What is it? they queried. And after some prodding, he answered them. “It is my wife. Time beckons her to have children and she so much wants to be a mother…but we have not been able to have children. I know your teacher is a worker of wonders whose prayer is powerful. Tell me, do you think he could pray for us? The brothers assure him that they will ask their master to include them in his prayers.
The next morning as they set out to leave, they encounter the strangest sight. It is the wife of the innkeeper, out walking around the village with a brand new baby carriage! Now baby carriages were luxurious items back then and cost a great deal of money – more than the innkeeper probably had. “Congratulations!” people would call out to her, thinking she must surely be with child. “Oh no,” she replied, “I am not with child yet.” And the people would exchange pitying glances…thinking that her yearning for a child must have driven her mad.
The brothers themselves were rather concerned as well, to hear their friend the innkeeper’s wife had spent much of their savings and it was not at all guaranteed that the teacher’s prayer would be answered. They were pious men but not fools. There being little to do however, they went on their way.
The next harvest time they are again traveling to their teacher. They wished to stay at the same inn but were afraid. If no child had been born then they would certainly not be welcome guests. They decided to listen at the door- if they heard the sound of a baby crying they would enter, if not they would find another place to lodge. They arrive at an inn full of festivities. Sure enough, it was the day of the birth party. There was great rejoicing in the house and they were made the Godfathers of the child.
One of the brothers, though happy for the couple, hid a deep sadness underneath his smile. When they came to their teacher this brother requested an urgent audience with the master. Being a wise and loyal student his wish was granted. They sit down and with tears streaming down his face he asks, “I don’t understand. Was I not important to you? My wife wants a child as well. She too is called to motherhood. Every year for twenty years I have asked you to pray for my wife. You have agreed and yet we are still childless. This innkeeper that you do not know – who is not your student – who bears you no love or loyalty – asks you to pray, and within a year his wife has a child!”
The master looked at his student ever so gently and asked, “Tell me, my dear student and friend — Did your wife ever go out and buy a baby carriage?”
When we respond to a call there is always a moment when we need to buy a baby carriage. To leap believing that the net will appear. To risk uncertainty and take action. That is the only way new babies are born.
Here, the master teaches his student an elemental truth – to genuinely respond to the call I must show myself that I am prepared to risk. The woman in the story risked her savings and bought a baby carriage on the belief that she would become a mother.
‘Leap and the Net Will Appear’ would be a good way, to sum up, this characteristic of calls. You first need to leap – risking a fall – before the net is ready to make its appearance.
In times like this, we are asked to come together in community and feel each other’s depth and hold each other in the great crucible of joy and transformation for the sake of the Evolution of Love. This is a moment when some courageous, bold action is required.