Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Parable Of The Blacksmith And The Princes

The Parable Of The
Blacksmith And The Princess
In the simple days of kings and castles there was a town blacksmith named Robert.  Robert was a hardworking man who worked his forge early in the morning until late at night. Hard work made Robert strong with powerful arms and back. Because of his strength folk respected Robert but also he had served in the king's army and was a champion at arms. He was a good and honest man who every morning said his prayers asking God to guide his day; and every night to thank God for his blessings. Robert's closest companion was the humble monk known only as Brother Monk.  Robert was always in the crowd when  Brother Monk read the scriptures and taught the town folk each morning in the town square.

The king had no son, only a daughter who was beautiful, wise and gracious in all things.  This princess was the king's joy, but only a son could inherit the throne.  The king worried that if he should die without an heir the kingdom would be destroyed by civil war.  Even a son-in-law married to the princess would bring safety to the kingdom; so the king sent word to all the lands that Princess Danielle was of age and that suitors would be welcome to visit the castle.

The birds sang in the branches over the heads of the town folk as Brother Monk spoke. "Our Lord said, 'Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth 1.' By these words Jesus teach us to be humble servants. Not to force our own way. Meekness does not mean giving into evil, for when we have a just cause we must stand against evil; but humbly fearing God."

That day the first suitor for Princess Danielle's hand arrived in town, a dark haired prince from the south with black eyes and a black horse. He had ridden his horse hard and the bit in the bridle broke. Seeing the blacksmith shop he entered.

An Illustration for the parable of the Blacksmith and the princess.
The Blacksmith
"You there, blacksmith." he ordered. "Stop what you are doing and fix this bridle right now."

Robert was bent over the anvil working on a plow for an old farm wife. He looked over his shoulder and saw the prince in fine clothes and bright sword hanging from his belt. "I am busy with the plow right now if you can leave it I will fix it and bring it to you later."

"No, blacksmith, I am Prince Alexander. You stop what you are doing right now and fix my bridle."

Robert turned around and stood up straight. He was very tall and looked down at the prince. "I am sorry, the farm wife was first, you must wait."

The prince put his hand on his sword, and spread his feet ready to fight. People came to watch and soon in moments a crowd gathered at the door. People were saying, "Robert is a master at arms he will teach the proud prince a thing or two." and "That little prince is nothing to the blacksmith, he will thrash the prince and his knights too."

The prince drew his sword, before anyone saw what had happened it was in the hand of Robert who was holding the sword up to the light looking at it. The prince stepped back mouth opened wide and eyes opened wider.

"I will put a fresh edge on this for you too." Robert said. "After I finish the farm wife's plow."

The prince seeing he was unarmed and at the mercy of the blacksmith took another stumbling step back fearful for his life. Robert returned to his work on the plow. An hour later he finished the plow and fixed the horses bridle.

"I suppose you are going to charge me extra since you see I am wealthy." The prince grumbled.

"No. Five coppers, same as for anybody."

The story of the events spread through the town and when it reached the ears of the king he said, "We can learn a thing from that blacksmith."

The next day the monk stood under the trees in the town square and taught the people, "Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers,2. Remember Jesus came to make peace, we should follow in his footsteps whenever possible."

That day another prince came to present himself to the princess. He was called the red prince since his armor was red. He liked to drink much wine and was augmentative. That night the red prince and the black prince both drank too much and quarreled. The fight was loud and turned violent and in the fight they broke furniture and the door to the feasting chamber.

The king's solders broke up the fight and the king paced back and forth in front of the princes shaking his finger at them giving a fatherly lecture condemning their actions.

The blacksmith was called to repair the door.

The knights and servants of both princes were loyal to their own Lords and continued the argument in the courtyard. Like two small armies they lined up about to charge each other with swords drawn and lances lowered. The king heard the yelling from the feast-hall and looking out he saw the two forces about to battle inside the castle walls. The blacksmith entered the courtyard carrying his anvil and tools.  Robert set down this anvil and began to speak to individuals and groups of the men. The king could not hear what he was saying but watched in amazement as the swords were put away and spears set at rest. After a few minutes the opposing knights were shaking hands and slapping each other on the back. The courtyard became a scene of peace fellowship and friendship.

The king turned to the two princes and said, "You two like to make war, but there is on who makes peace. We could learn a few things from the blacksmith."

The next day Brother Monk stood under the trees teaching the people and said. "Jesus taught, 'Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.3' Jesus gave us an example when He wept at the grave of Lazarus. He was even called a man of sorrows."

Another group of princes with their knights were riding into the town they were halted by a procession of weeping women and men carrying a casket to the cemetery to bury a dead townsman.

"Move aside you peasants." a prince ordered. "Get out of our way you scum." one said. Another yelled, "Who do you think you are! Can't you see we are better than you? We are royalty, we are princes."

A hand reached up and pulled the reins of the lead horse and then the reins of the one next to it. The blacksmith held the horses back and stopped all the princes from moving forward. Tears ran down Robert's soot stained face and dripped off of his beard. The princes did not dare to push ahead since the blacksmith still held his huge blacksmith hammer in his other hand. The funeral procession passed in front of the princes who scowled at the blacksmith.

The queen and Princess Danielle rode up in her soft royal carriage. "Blacksmith," The queen said. "Why the tears? Was it your son who had who died?"

"No your majesty, I have not a son."

"Was it a brother or uncle or some other kinsman who died and for whom you mourn with such big tears?"

"No, your majesty. I have no family the funeral was only someone I knew slightly?"

"If you knew the dead one only slightly then why do you mourn so?"

"I mourn with those who mourn for their sorrow is great. Their sorrow is my sorrow."

The queen turned to the princes. "You can learn something from this man."


Brother Monk an illustration for the Parable of the blacksmith and the princess.
Brother Monk
The next day Brother Monk stood under the trees teaching the people. "Jesus said, 'Blessed are the pure in heart.4' Jesus had no sin and we should turn our hearts away from sin at every opportunity and not let sin corrupt our hearts."

Another prince arrived in the town that day to meet Princess Danielle. With him came servants. One servant stopped at the blacksmith shop. She was a beautiful lady of court and married to the prince's uncle The Duke. One look at the strong handsome blacksmith convinced her she wanted to run away with him for a season of adventure. "Blacksmith." She said. "Is it true you disarmed the black prince?"

"I would not want to talk about it. Do you need the services of a blacksmith, my lady?"

"Oh yes, but not in the customary way." She responded sliding up to the blacksmith and rubbing his muscled arm with her hand. "And did you stop a pitched fight between the knights in the castle courtyard?"

"That is between the knights and me. Do you need some work done?"

"Did you stop the princes in the road single handedly so the funeral could pass by?"

"I was only respecting the grief of those who mourn. What do you want?"

"Are you so dull, Robert? Come with me and escape this provincial town. We will go to the great cities. I have wealth."

"No, I am not dull. I am smart enough to see what you want is pleasure for a season. And the wages of this pleasure is death."

"If you mean my husband the Duke- he is a dullard, a drunken fool. You need not fear him."

"I fear no man, Duchess. I fear God. Now speak no more to me. Go to the Duke, I have work to do."

A small town has no secrets and what happened was told; the next day the lady left the town in disgrace. In the feast hall the king heard that she was immodest with the blacksmith and he for fear of God refused to run away with her. "You know my Lords, we could all learn something from the blacksmith." the king said.

The next morning the monk stood under the trees in the town square and taught the people. "Jesus said, Blessed are those who hunger and thrust after righteousness,5. Our Lord spent forty days in the wilderness and spent many a night in prayer. We should follow his example of devotion."

That morning the princes sat in carriages waiting to ride to the country manor for a banquet. The queen sat in the softest carriage; she had a bad back and could only ride in this carriage with soft springs. As the carriage passed the castle gate one of the the springs broke.

"Call for the blacksmith." The king ordered.

A youth ran to the town and came back a few minutes later. "The blacksmith will not come, your Majesty."

"Tell the blacksmith that I will pay him a gold coin if he comes right now."

The youth ran off to the town but came back a few minutes later. "The blacksmith will not come."

"Tell the blacksmith I will give him Ten gold coins if he comes now."

The youth ran off and came back a few minutes later still no blacksmith. "The blacksmith will not come."

"Tell the blacksmith I will give him one hundred gold coins if he comes right now." The youth left and came back a few minutes later. "The blacksmith says he will come when he finishes."

After a long while the blacksmith came to the castle carrying his anvil.

The king was upset. "Why did you not come when I called you at first? What could have been more important than the king? Do you not know you could have received one hundred coins if you came when summoned?"

"I was at my morning prayers, giving worship to God my Lord and Maker. Serving God is a higher duty than serving a king. I do not consider the hundred gold coins a loss since I have heavenly reward far greater."

The king turned to the princes, "We could learn something from the blacksmith."

In a short time the carriage was fixed.

The next day all the princes stood in the throne room in their finest most royal clothing. The king, queen and princess sat on thrones. One by one each took a turn walking up to the king, they bowed to the king, kissed the hand of the queen and went down on one knee to offer his sword to the princess Danielle. Everyone watched to see if she would take his sword, for the Princess was take the sword of the one she choose since that was the way to show that he was the one. As each one knelt she smiled and wished them a good journey to their own lands. Princess Danielle did not choose any prince.

The king was frustrated. "Princess, you must choose and you must choose today."

The princess said. "Send for the blacksmith."

Because the blacksmith sought to be the kind of man that Jesus wanted him to be he became the kind of man that the kingdom wanted.

1. Matthew 5:5. 2, Matthew 5:9. 3,Matthew 5:4.  4, Matthew 5:8. 5, Matthew 5:6.

(c) Adron Dozat

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