The Rich Man & the Maid

MaidOnce upon a time there was a very rich man who lived in a very exquisite mansion.  For many years his maid, Elsie, kept up his home meticulously.  Not one day went by that he had to instruct her or ask anything of her other than simple chit chat.  She was a treasure to him.

Elsie eventually met a man and they courted for many months. Then one day Elsie approached the rich man and told him she would have to leave his home and resign for she was to be married.  Though he was very excited for her, he dreaded finding someone to replace her. No one could compare to Elsie nor the work she could do in his mind.

Many maid prospects came to his mansion.  Day after day he sought someone whom he thought would be as good as Elsie.  Weeks went by before he found someone.  A young awkward looking woman named Olivia.  She highly impressed him with her mannerism and seriousness.  The rich
man felt relieved in finding a good replacement for Elsie.

The rich man showed Olivia the mansion room by room.  When it came to his special room, he explained in great detail how to care for it, dust it and asked her to please be careful of each item in it. He stressed to leave everything as it was and just ensure it was immaculate above all other rooms.  Olivia asked why the room was so special, he grunted, “Just make sure this room is perfect!” and off he went.

Months went by and the rich man seemed quite pleased with Olivia’s work.  He only had to remind her a few times of small duties missed.  This was expected.

One day, however, Olivia had not completed laundry on time and a particular pair of pants was not cleaned nor pressed.  One the rich man had planned to wear to an affair.  This disturbed the man and he scolded Olivia for her negligence.  Olivia promised she would not allow that to happen again.

Within the next week, Olivia displayed many signs of negligence highly annoying the man to the point of wanting to fire her.  She would spend hours in his special room making it spotless while the other rooms were ignored. Though she apologized up and down and promised to do better with the other rooms throughout the mansion, each day her actions were worse.  She also began to alter the rich man’s special room.  Soon it became a beautiful sanctuary filled with vibrant flowers, new white linen curtains and new white furniture. She removed pictures from the walls and replaced them with mirrors.  She moved his books and placed candles throughout the room. This infuriated him!

Eventually the rich man felt as if he would literally kill her.  For her attitude changed and her work was horrid in his eyes.  Dust was piling up, fingerprints everywhere.  Yet that one room kept changing and was the only sparkling room in the mansion.

He was fed up!  But he also knew it would be weeks if not months before he would find another replacement.  He was so angry he went to his grandfather who was a very wise and gentle man.

“Grandfather!” He exclaimed.  “I have this maid, Olivia, who I want to kill!  Literally kill her Grandfather!!!  She was wonderful in the beginning.  Not as good as Elsie was, but still, a decent replacement, or so I thought.  She has turned into a lazy, horrible, dirty maid.  I can’t stand her! Not only that Grandfather, but she altered my favorite room.  My thinking room.  The room I meditate in.  The one I pray in.  The one room I cling to after a hard day of work! She changed the curtains so I can now see outside!  She put mirrors where my hunting photos, awards, degrees and trophies were.  Do you KNOW HOW HARD I WORKED TO EARN THOSE?  She put candles everywhere.  I am burning mad inside and I…I HATE her for what she has done!!! She does not do things my way and I can’t stand her any longer!”

His Grandfather chuckled.

“My dear boy, you want to kill an angel.”
“What?!” Exclaimed the rich man.

His Grandfather continued.  “My ignorant Grandson.  You know not when a gift is given to you.  For this is an angel in disguise.  For when you are tired from a long day, she has placed mirrors around your room to show you who you are so you may ponder and reflect. You don’t need degrees to show who you are or prove who you are, my dear boy.  Your reflection alone reveals that.  The books, my dear Grandson, she removed so you would not be distracted during prayer and deep thoughts.  She placed the candles so you can rest in the light.  She made it white so you would feel clean.  She removed any items that would distract you from your concentration and you want to kill her?  Why I’d say you are the luckiest man alive! This maid certainly loves you dear boy.” Smiling and chuckling at his Grandson’s reaction, he left the room.

The rich man was very confused.  For this is not the response he expected.

So,  he returned to his mansion in full confusion.  He went to his special room and thought upon what his Grandfather had said.  As he gazed into one of the mirrors he saw an angry man.  A pressed mouth, cheeks taught and eyes almost black with rage.  As he stared at himself he cocked his head to the right and stared deeply into his own eyes.  The angered squints became curious.  He thought to himself “Do I really appear like this? Am I really such an angry soul?”

He continued to look around the room.  He stared at the linen curtains and realized that they allowed the beauty of his garden to be seen within the walls.  Then he looked at the candles all lit and realized each one was placed in a specific spot to enhance the warmth of the room.  As he eventually sat on one of the couches, it was the most comfortable cushion he ever sat on.  He felt as if he was sitting on a cloud.  As he sat and looked around the room, tears filled his eyes.

The moral of the story is…true love comes in forms that we may not understand.  Therefore we must never assume and react upon impulse.


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