A Thankful Heart
There was once an old woman who desperately wanted to make an offering to the Lord. But she was terribly poor. Her large family lived in a tiny hut and barely had enough for their daily meals. She didn’t have the heart to ask them for money.
Every day she went to the temple and watched as everyone made offerings at the altar. So one day she decided that she would go out and beg. Despite trying her level best, at the end of the day she only ended up with a few coins. She took whatever she had and went to a store to buy some oil but as expected, the merchant told her the money was not enough. But taking pity on her, he gave her the oil she needed.
That night, the old woman made her way to the temple and taking the oil she had bought, lit a lamp, placed it at the altar and prayed, “O Lord, I am truly sorry that I have nothing to offer you but this tiny lamp. All my life you have given me everything. I have good health, I have a kind and loving husband, my children care for me, and till today, I have never gone to sleep hungry. You are truly great. Please accept this small offering. It is the only way I can thank you for your love and grace.”
Having made her offering, the old woman got up and left. That night, the oil in all the other lamps went out but the old woman’s lamp was still burning at dawn. When the monk came to collect all the lamps, he was surprised to see one that was burning brightly, full of oil and a fresh wick. He wondered how the lamp was still burning at daytime. He tried blowing it out but it kept on burning. He tried to snuff it out, smother it, he even poured water on it, but it still kept on burning.
His Master was watching from afar and called the monk. The Master said to him, “Don’t bother trying to put out that lamp because you cannot. All the water from all the oceans and lakes of this world could not put out that lamp because it was offered by a pure and thankful heart. It is the lamp of gratitude.”