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No House Without Sorrow

Among the parables that Chinese teachers use is the story of a woman who lost an only son. She was grief-stricken out of all reason. She made her sorrow a wailing wall. Finally she went to a wise old philosopher. He said to her, “I will give you back your son if you will bring me some mustard seed. However, the seed must come from a home where there has never been any sorrow.” Eagerly she started her search, and went from house to house. In every case she learned that a loved one had been lost. “How selfish I have been in my grief,” she said, “sorrow is common to all.” (Tan, Paul Lee: Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations : A Treasury of Illustrations, Anecdotes, Facts and Quotations for Pastors, Teachers and Christian Workers. Garland TX : Bible Communications, 1996, c1979)

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