Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Other Wise Man

From my postcard collection
One of my favorite Christmas stories is "The Story of the Other Wise Man" by Henry Van Dyke. I first read this story many, many years ago when my parents bought me a small book of short works by this Presbyterian minister. I had no idea who he was, but I loved the stories in this little pocket-sized book.
Artaban, the fourth Magi, is a man of forty when he begins his quest to find the Messiah, the King of the Jews. For years he is on this journey, but his travels do not bring him any closer to his King. Instead, he uses his wealth to feed the hungry, to heal the sick, and clothe the naked. The jewels that he had set aside for the Messiah are used to help ordinary people in need. Many years pass by, and Artaban is now an old man. He has yet to see the face of his King,  Finally, thirty-three years from the time he began his quest, he meets his King.
"Three-and- thirty years have I looked for thee; but I have never seen thy face, nor ministered to thee, my King."
And Artaban hears the words from his King, faint and far away:
"Verily I say unto thee, Inasmuch as thou hast done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, thou hast done it unto me."
He had found Him, at last.


1 comment:

Rita said...

what a great story. I had never heard it before! He did find the King of Kings, didn't he?