When I find myself wondering why things happen as they do, I am reminded of this story

Two spirits journeyed through the human world, for one spirit was younger than the other and therefore was to learn from its mentor. They took human form and ventured out. When night came, they sought shelter at a residence that was home to an unkind, ill-mannered man. The man reluctantly invited the two spirits in, but demanded they leave the next morning. He did not share his food and he only allowed them to spend the night in the basement. The older spirit saw that a wall in the basement was falling apart, and took it upon itself to repair the wall. The younger spirit asked why bothering helping such a horrible man, and the older spirit merely replied, “things are not always as they appear.”

The next morning, the two spirits left the man’s home and it wasn’t long before night fell upon them again. This time they took shelter at a farm. The farmer warmly welcomed them, offering what little food he and his wife had. The seasons were not treating them well, but they salvaged what they could on their land and were thankful for what they had. The farmer and his wife left the two spirits stay in a second bedroom, all the while, the younger spirit continued to learn what it could from these interactions.

The following morning, the farmer and his wife were grieved to find that most of their livestock had died overnight. The younger spirit wondered why this happened, but its mentor replied “things are not always how they appear.” The farmer was saddened, but determined to make the most of what he had.

When the two spirits left the farm, the younger spirit lost its patience. It angrily shouted at the older spirit. “Why? Why didn’t you help them? Why let them suffer? They are good people, yet you help that horrible man yesterday.”

The older spirit waited until the younger spirit could say no more. “I repaired the wall yesterday because there was a great treasure hidden in that wall that the man was unaware of. He does not deserve such generosity from his ancestors.”

The younger spirit was less angry. “And why let the farmer and his wife suffer?”

“Because the angel of death came for the wife. Instead, I gave it their livestock, so they may struggle now, but they will overcome such hardships together.”

The younger spirit continued its journey with a far more open mind.

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