The Wise Woman with a Stone

The truly wise woman in this parable realized that it is the ability to give which renders us truly rich…

If you could leave but one thing behind you what would it be? Wealth and property? Family heirlooms? For me those don’t even enter the running. Not only because I have few such things to leave. But because I hope, above all, to leave a lasting legacy. 

Leaving a legacy

I may not be remembered for any mighty deeds or great wisdom. But I hope to be remembered as one who, while not perfect, owned up to her mistakes and failings and tried to overcome them. One who put others first and loved them more than money, things, or success, and who gave what she could.

And though I fall far short of this glorious goal, with the Lord’s help I work daily on overcoming my failings. And on becoming just a bit more like the wise woman in the following story. Like the Wise Woman with a Stone.

The Wise Woman with a Stone

“A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food.

The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime.

But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman. “I’ve been thinking,” he said, “I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what is within you that enabled you to give me the stone.” – Author Unknown

We are not really told much about the woman in this parable. But had she been real, surely hers was a simple life, her possessions few. A simple mountain cabin, her two feet to take her everywhere. A bit of food, a few clothes.

Then one day she found it. That precious stone, glistening in the sun. She knew its worth but didn’t care about that – for she already possessed all that she needed.

Security? It was hers, in as much as it can belong to anyone. The truly wise know that security is a fleeting thing. One event and like the snap of the fingers, it’s gone. No, she had all that she needed for today, and that was all she could be sure of.

That precious stone meant nothing to her, because she was already rich. Not because of the stone. That made her no richer. But it was a pretty stone, so she kept it. Just to look at and enjoy.

The legacy of true wealth

She already possessed the most precious riches: the wealth of true contentment and generosity.

The greatest wealth of all are the gifts of true contentment and the willingness to give with abundant generosity.

Which enabled her to give generously and without hesitation. She knew that the ability to give renders us truly rich. And that only in giving do the things of greater value become ours forever. This is the legacy I’d like to leave behind me. The legacy that true wealth lies in contentment and generosity.

What I spent is gone; what I kept is lost; what I gave away will be mine forever.

Ethel Percy Andrus

Images: Woman | Gift.

Author: Signora Sheila

American born, Italian at heart. In Italy 30+ years. I'm glad you're here and hope you'll join my journey!

35 thoughts on “The Wise Woman with a Stone”

  1. So appreciate your heart, Sheila, expressed by your hopes: “”to be remembered as one who, while not perfect, owned up to her mistakes and failings and tried to overcome them. One who put others first and loved them more than money, things, or success, and who gave what she could.” The three grandparents that I knew during my growing-up years left a powerful legacy of selfless service to God, devotion to Him, kindness, generosity and more. I pray I might provide a worthwhile legacy of faith to my grandchildren!


    1. So glad you liked it Katie! The first time I read that little tale, it just spoke volumes to me, and made me realize how far I still had to go. So everyday I work on becoming a little more like that woman. Because as Corrie ten Boom puts it: “Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My cousin and I were discussing my “poverty” this week, that I believe God never intended me to be wealthy. She reminded me just how wealthy I really am. Thank you for this beautiful post.


  3. How beautiful! Delighting in beauty, she picks up the stone and carries it. Overflowing in kindness and generosity, she gives the stone away. Wondering at the richness of her generosity, the receiver returns the stone to learn about real riches. Thank you for this beautiful post.


  4. Oh, yes! I want to be a woman who walks with God and is a blessing to others. I want that for my children. To leave that kind of legacy is better than anything that perishes in this world. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this story! So powerful because of its simplicity, and so unattainable by us because of our natural selfishness. But God. Thank you so much for sharing this, my friend. It gives me much to think about–and be grateful for.


  6. Loved this story, Sheila! It made me think about living for Christ. If we let His love shine through us, others will see the value and want some of that light as well. Bless you and keep up the wonderful writing:)


  7. Wonderful story! Short and to the point. What a legacy she will leave. Let me have that kind of generosity and security, that I can give away those precious things without worrying about what will replace them. That out of love I can be a blessing to others.

    Liked by 1 person

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