Today seemed like a good day to Little Bear. As he walked through Wondering Wood and away from his village, he thought about how good he was feeling since he made the decision. He also thought about how bad he felt before this. He thought about how badly the others treated him. They teased him and called him names. It seemed like he could never do anything right. He was the slowest when racing. He was the weakest in wrestling. He could not swim. He wasn’t as smart as many of the others. He felt tired all the time. He felt like he had no real purpose. So he made the decision. He began giving his things away until he had nothing left. And now he was walking to that place where he could be alone.
He thought about that place. It was his secret place. He had never seen anyone else there and he went there a lot. When he was there, he would sit on a large flat rock that felt warm from the sun heating it. He called the rock “Thinking Rock” because he spent so much time there thinking about many things. It was there that he first thought about this big decision. The water of the pool seemed so very inviting.
As Little Bear approached his secret place, he could hear the waterfall. He’d heard this sound many times before. He found that if he listened closely, the waterfall sounded like many voices whispering. This is why he called it the “Whispering Waterfall”. Little Bear could see the large pool at the base of the waterfall. He remembered how it felt when he would dangle his feet in the water of the pool and how the water felt cool but not cold.
Little Bear had been afraid of the water. He was afraid because he remembered a time when he accidently fell into a pool like this one. He sank to the bottom of the pool like a rock. He felt the air rush out of his lungs and the weird feelings because of that. Visions of memories flashed before his eyes. Then he felt himself begin to rise to the water’s surface as he felt himself being pulled out of the water. When he started gasping for breath, Little Bear was yelled at for scaring the Elder who had brought him up out of the pool. The others picked on him for not knowing how to swim.
Little Bear sat on Thinking Rock for a little while as he thought about this memory. Then he stood up and began walking toward the pool. He stepped into the water and could feel the coolness of the water as it wrapped around his feet. He started to walk towards the deeper part. As the water rose to his chest, he heard a whisper that was more than a whisper. “Little Bear”. It sounded like someone was calling his name. “Little Bear”. “Wha…Who…Uh, who’s calling me?” asked Little Bear. Little Bear looked around and one more time he heard, “Little Bear”.
Little Bear looked in the direction of the Whispering Waterfall because that’s where the voice came from. He was startled as a spirit-like creature stepped out the waterfall. It glistened and glimmered with lots of different colors. Little Bear was frightened and about to run away when the spirit creature said, “You need not fear Little Bear. I have come to help you.”
Little Bear was unsure. His little legs would not move even though he was telling them to. The spirit spoke again. “Little Bear please sit on your Thinking Rock. I have a story to tell you.” Little Bear turned and walked to Thinking Rock. He sat down facing the dazzling spirit-creature.
“This story is actually two stories that concern two very different stones, Little Bear. Each stone had a purpose to be fulfilled. Please listen closely and you can learn from the story.
A very long time ago a little stone had been created by He Who Creates. This stone had fallen into water and was tumbled around until it found a resting place at the bottom of a stream. The stone had gained its shape and size from being tumbling about in the water. The stone thought about its purpose for it sat for many years in the same place. The waters eventually disappeared and the stone continued to sit still. It was one of many stones that sat still. One day, the stone felt itself being raised higher. The hand of one of those who watches sheep picked the stone up along with a few other stones. The stones were placed in a bag. The bag was very dark but the stone could hear the sounds of many voices shouting fearfully. Over the shouts, the stone could hear a thunderous voice making statements of challenge. The one who had picked up the stone answered back and asked He Who Creates to help him. The thunderous voice laughed and made fun of the little one who challenged him. He could not believe that one so small could defeat him. It wasn’t long after this that the stone felt itself being plucked from the bag and set into a sling. The stone was thrown and it hit the one with the thunderous voice. This voice was to be heard no more. Many happy voices were raised and the one who first picked the stone up became a hero for his peoples. The stone learned that this one was a shepherd. The stone realized that He Who Creates answered the stones’ question about purpose. The stone understood that his purpose was to be used to help a shepherd become a king.
Many years later, a second stone had been created. This stone also questioned its purpose. This stone had been used many times in a similar manner as the first stone. Many voices were silenced by this stone. This stone was saddened that it was used to cause so much harm. One day, this stone was picked up again to be used to silence a voice. The stone heard many voices shouting in anger and one voice crying in fear. The stone was being carried in the hand of one of the shouting voices. Then the stone heard a calm voice say, “He who is without sin may cast the first stone.” The stone felt itself as it was dropped to the ground and it heard other stones as they were dropped. Then the calm voice said to the fearful voice, “Go forth and sin no more.” This stone learned that its true purpose was not to be used to stop voices and it felt good.
So, Little Bear. What have you learned from these stories?” asked the sparkling spirit.
Little Bear answered. “He Who Creates loves stones enough to give them a purpose and I know He loves me just as much. And if stones can have a purpose, then I must have a purpose. He will show me in time just like He did with the stones. I like you and am no longer afraid of you. You sparkle with many colors and I will call you Rainbow because it’s the only other thing I know of that has so many colors.”
The spirit-creature, now named Rainbow, smiled as Little Bear happily skipped in the direction of his home.
May the Lord help you to learn what your purpose is.
J.A. Clark Rosa (2006)