There once was a man who loved a woman more than he was able to express. He needed her in a way that went beyond reason. So one day, he said to her, “My dearest, I love you more than words can say, how may I prove my love to you?”
The woman, caught in her own delusions of grandeur, thought little of the man, and believed herself above him. She was beautiful, desired by all. So she decided to have fun with the man’s affections. “If you wish to prove your love to me,” she said to him one sunny day, “climb the highest peak at the fringes of our valley, and jump off the edge. If your love for me is as great as you say, it will bring you back to me unscathed.”
“My dearest, I will return to you soon,” he said, and with that he was off.
The trip to, and up, the mountain was arduous. But he never lost a step, never thought of giving up. He had faith in his love, and he knew it would deliver him. When he reached the top, he looked out over the valley, to the distant west where his village and beloved lay.
He hesitated only long enough to draw one last breath, then he stepped over the edge. For a moment, suspended in air, an angel soaring above the world, he felt free and alive. But all too soon, the air slammed into him as he plummeted towards the ground. But all the while, his faith in his love was unshakable. “If I die, my love was not worthy,” he thought, “But if I live, my love will have stood the greatest test.”
As the bottom neared, he felt the wind gather beneath him, lifting him gently, so that when at last his feet touched the ground, they stepped lightly, and he stood unscathed. Faith had been his wings, love had been the wind he soared on.
He returned to his love.
“My beloved, I have climbed to the highest peak, stepped off to prove my love for you, and I stand here unscathed. My love is strong enough to deliver me back to you.”
She eyed him skeptically. “Do you have any proof that you have done this?” She asked slyly.
“Only my word.”
“Well, as much as I wish to believe you, words are easy to say. Go to the ocean and bring me a beautiful pearl. When I see such beauty that you have found with your own two hands, then I will know you love me.”
“My beloved,” he said without hesitation, “I will bring you a beautiful pearl.”
And with that, he left for the seashore.
For thirty days he toiled in the waters, searching for a pearl. But he knew his love was strong enough. He knew that his faith in his love would deliver the pearl. For thirty days he worked, and for thirty days, his stomach was never empty, and the heavens gave him comforting weather. On the thirtieth day, he pulled a most beautiful pearl from an oyster and set off to return home.
“My beloved,” he said, “I have returned with the most beautiful pearl the ocean’s contain. Do you believe in my love for you now?”
The woman was caught off guard, but her greed and hunger for material possession knew little bounds. “This is indeed a great token of affection. But truly, if you love me, you will provide a place for me to live with you. But if you are honest in your feelings, you will know that no small house will do. Our home must be as grand as your love for me.”
And so, the man left his village once more. For two years he toiled, working on the house that would befit his love. For two years, the land provided him food, shelter, and supplies. He never doubted his love, and he never lost faith in the future he foresaw.
When the house was completed, he returned home.
He did not know, but in his absence, a great fire had consumed his beloved’s house. She had been left scarred and broken. Those who had looked
upon her beauty with desire now looked at her with disgust.
The man entered the room, and without a hint of hesitation, he took her damaged hand, and looking her deep in the eyes said, “My beloved, I have built a grand home for you. Do you believe in my love now?”
She felt such pain. “I am ugly now. In appearance, and I can now tell, I was in side as well. I have mistreated you and used your love for my own gain. You don’t need to pity me. Please, I know you wish to leave, and I bear you no ill
The man smiled at her lovingly. “Lady, please believe me, I only see beauty with my eyes, and feel your inner beauty with my heart. I love you more than words can say. How may I prove my love to you?”
But with forgiveness and dedication, he had proved what no mountain, pearl, or house could ever prove. And in their grand house there was only trust, happiness, and a grand faith in each other’s love.