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Be Careful When You Receive Favors

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Be Careful When You Receive Favors


 


The Master and the whole of the Brotherhood were having their summer vacation in the Rila Mountains, living there in tents.


 


When I managed to get ten days leave of the school work, I prepared myself in a hurry and boarded the wagon that was taking food up the mountain to the camp of the Brotherhood. All sisters and brothers received me gaily. Sister K. asked me very politely if I had a tent to sleep in, and finding out that I didn't, she said:


 


"I am all alone in my tent and it is quite a big one and we shall feel comfortable, the two of us."


 


Some other sisters invited me, too, but I had already taken my luggage to her tent.


 


Sister K. prepared a soft warm bed for me and took care of me like a, mother. She served me nice and delicious things to eat, and I, as in previous years, had brought little food, not having, as usual, enough money for that. I was really very well taken care of and my only care was to breathe the fresh mountain air, to rest and to gather strength for the rest of the year.


 


Every morning we went up to the peak, listened to the Master's lecture, welcomed the sunrise which was like a heavenly saga, performed paneurythmy, sang songs, visited other peaks, and the evenings around the camp fire with the Master were wonderful. I never gave a thought to the city and my cares connected with it. At that height and in that purity one was totally disengaged from everyday life and got real rest. The Master knew where to take us.


 


Two or three days after I arrived at the mountain something strange began to happen to me. A peculiar grief, for which there was no reason at all, began to take hold of me. I felt terribly unhappy. This soon expressed itself in a wish to throw myself down from some high rock. I began shunning the rest of the sisters and brothers, an apathy got hold of me and when all alone I cried bitterly and tried to chose so high a rock that, when I threw myself down from it, 1 would undoubtedly die. I had decided on dying. Only one thing still prevented me from committing the foolish act: the newspapers would write about this and it would be a blot on the honor the the Brotherhood.


 


On the eigth day, coming down from the peak, the Master passed by me and turned and looked rather attentively at me, but said nothing. That afternoon 1 cried bitterly and long, hidden behind a great stone by the lake. Then the thought to go to the Master passed through my head. With tear-stained face and swollen eyes I walked along the shore of the lake and came to the Master's tent.


 


In front of the tent the Master was talking with several sisters, and further on a brother was waiting his turn. I hid again behind a big stone and waited too. My tears were unceasingly streaming down my face. I watched the waters of the lake, pure and clear. Eels were jumping high over the water and diving back again in jolly play. I cried and waited.


 


At last my turn came. I kissed the Master's hand and could hardly speak because of the tears:


 


"Master, I want to die, I shall throw myself from some high rock."


 


I could say nothing more.


 


"Why, don't cry," he told me quietly and tenderly. "Come, sit here," and seeing that I was ashamed to have the others see me cry so bitterly, he gave me a small chair inside his tent. He himself sat on a big one by the table. Then he opened the Bible and began reading out of it silently.


 


He read and I cried bitterly, sitting on the small chair.


 


How long this lasted I never knew. At last my tears stopped. Inside me something lighted up and I looked at the Master as if through a clear window. He continued to read. I stayed calmly in the quietness of the tent. When he stopped reading he turned to me:


 


"Listen now to what I am going to tell you: be careful when you accept favors. The sister whose tent you are sharing had a daughter who committed suicide and this grief and the wish to die were not your own; the girl obsessed you, and they were hers. Now go in peace," he added and closed the Bible.


 


What exactly the Master read from the Bible and what he did, I know not, but when I went out of the tent I felt myself again and had no grief nor any wish to die.


 


I didn't say anything to sister K. She saw that the last two days I was gay again and she was happy, as was I.


 


Those last two days I was in a hurry to make up for the lost eight days, to imbibe the boon of Rila and to praise God.


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