Cornerstone

Siyad wept on the stairs to the temple, a slow stream of tears streaking down his cheeks. An old man, Fehta, sat next to him. “Child,” the elder said, “Why do you cry?”

“They are removing the corner stone, elder.”

“And this causes you pain? Why is that, my son?”

Siyad fidgeted for a time, looking away for a few moments, then looking back at the cornerstone. “The temple is old. The corner stone, I wrote my name on it.”

The old man put an arm around the child. “It is a beautiful temple, and that cornerstone is part of you, no doubt, should you have put your name on it. Our names are important.”

“If you remove the cornerstone, everything falls down, elder. Why are they doing it?”

Fehta pondered this for some time. “Life is full of cornerstones. We write our name on them and we build up great structures around them. There comes a time when we need to remove that cornerstone, though.”

“And let it crumble?”

“Not quite, child. You are looking at this as a boy would. You see what will happen tomorrow, but not what will happen in weeks, months, and years.” Fehta pulled out a handkerchief and dried the tears. “Next year, perhaps it will be a house. Maybe they will construct a barracks. There could be a new and better temple. All of these possibilities.”

“But it could be a prison or a ghetto. The poor and sick could live there, unable to get better. When the cornerstone is removed, bad could happen.”

“Do you have faith in the One, child?” The boy nodded. “Then with that faith, trust what is built there is His will. You need not fret, you need not guide it, you need only trust. But for now, worry of yourself and the cornerstones in your life, not the cornerstone of that temple. Go and see where your foundations are, which are weak and which are solid. Build steady structures on those that are worthy and faithful. Crumble those which are not. In life, sometimes those cornerstones come back. Sometimes they are reused. Sometimes, crumbling was needed for the Divine to mold them as required.”

The child nodded, though the old man knew most of that was beyond the youth’s understanding. “Thank you, elder. I will trust the One.”

The old man smiled, “That’s a good boy. Now hurry along. Your family waits for you, no doubt ready for prayer.” The child ran off as the cornerstone was removed, making room for a new structure.

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