A man went to see his Zen master and requested him to write something that would bless and encourage his family for the generations to come. It would be something that his family could cherish.
The Master wrote a few words on a small piece of paper, which he handed over to the man. The man gasped in amazement at what he read. The Master had written:
“What sort of blessing is this!” exclaimed the man. “Why would you write something so depressing?”
The Master gently explained. “My dear son. If your son dies before you, your family would suffer unbearable grief. If your grandson dies before your son, this would also bring great sorrow. Death is but the natural course of life. If your family should go in the order that I have written, therein lies the Lord’s grace.”