- Henri Nouwen tells the story of an old man who used to meditate and pray every morning under a big tree on the bank of the Ganges River in India. One morning, after he had finished his prayers, he saw a scorpion floating helplessly in the water. As the scorpion was washed closer to the shore, the old man reached out to rescue the drowning creature. As soon as he touched it, however, the scorpion stung him.
The old man jerked his hand back quickly, but moments later he again reached out to save the scorpion. Again the scorpion stung, this time badly enough with it’s poisonous tail to cause the man’s hand to bleed, and his face to grimace in pain.
At that moment, a passerby saw the old man struggling with the scorpion and shouted, “Hey, stupid old man, what’s wrong with you? Only a fool would risk his life for the sake of an ugly, evil creature. Don’t you know it’s the nature of a scorpion to sting? Don’t you know you could kill yourself trying to save that ungrateful scorpion?”
Looking into the stranger’s eyes, the old man calmly replied, “Yes, I know, my friend. But just as it is the scorpion’s nature to sting, it is my nature to try and save.”
- ("Listen to "Gomer's Complaint" by an American theologian, Kris Lindbeck...")