The Bruised Reed

The following story is a Christmas fable, written by Jude Fischer, a staff worker of Madonna House Apostolate in Combermere, Ontario – Canada. It is one of a collection of stories excerpted from her book, Be Always Little.

Once there was a reed, tall and proud, growing near a stream. He was a fine reed indeed. And how he loved life! He lived every moment to the full! From his height, he had a splendid view of the whole area.
He watched the small animals scampering to and fro, the birds darting here and there, the multi-hued insects, the fish gliding in the stream. Best of all, he liked the flowers. They came in a never-ending parade of exquisite form and color. Old friends would go; but new ones promptly followed and delighted him so, that he never stopped to wonder what happened to the old. And all the while he stood tall and green. Yes, life was good indeed.
One morning he awoke, and as he looked into the stream he discovered that his tip was turning brown. His dismay grew as, day after day, the malady spread until his fine green coat was completely gone. Not only that, he began to feel dry, then drier and drier.
The rains came and beat at him; the wind battered him; and finally a mighty gust snapped him loose from the earth. He lay desolate on the ground—broken, bruised, and heavy-hearted.
Some days later, a young man came by and picked him up. He put him in his bag, It was black inside, so black that the poor reed could see nothing at all. He longed for the end, for anything but this unending darkness.
Finally the day came when the young man took him out of the bag. How good it was to see light again! And he saw fields and rolling hills and sheep grazing peacefully around. The young man took a sharp knife and cut part of the Reed away, hurting him so acutely he couldn’t help but cry out. Then the man ruthlessly pierced him through, from end to end, clearing out his hollow. Every inch of his being quivered with pain. Then he was thrust back into the darkness again.
Sometime later he was taken out. He welcomed the light, yet dreaded the pain he anticipated would come along with it. And sure enough, there was the knife. This time the young man mercilessly cut several holes in him. He wept silently. Then he was plunged once more into blackness.
The day came when Reed, from his dark home in the bag, sensed something different, some excitement in the air. The young man joined some other shepherds and they hurried toward the edge of town. There they went into a cave, and the young man pulled Reed out of the bag, Reed braced himself for the inevitable knife.
Instead, to his surprise, he felt only the gentle caress of the young man’s hands as he lifted him tenderly to his lips. Then the young man poured his life’s breath into him; and there came forth Reed a beautiful song, simple and pure.
And as Reed sang, he looked out and saw a young mother and her little Baby. And they smiled at him.

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.” (Isa. 9:1).

I haven’t been active much this year but I’m looking forward to share with you all new posts in the new year. I hope everyone had a beautiful Christmas! Wishing you and your loved ones a very blessed, healthy and peaceful New Year 2022! ❤

4 thoughts on “The Bruised Reed

  1. phagerstrand@catholicexchange.com

    Beautiful fable. I read it to my husband. Both of us enjoyed it. Thank you. Happy New Year. God bless you and your ministry. Pat

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