Written by Andrea Hofer Proudfoot
There was once a promise made to all the people of the world, and everyone was waiting and had been waiting long for it to be kept.
No one could remember who had made the promise, but the little children were told that it was made by a great King who knew everything that had ever happened, and all things that would ever be.
And this was the promise:
A wonderful flower was to grow in a certain garden that would bring to the one who owned the garden all the good things in the world.
Everyone waited and waited for the flower to come. Years and years they had waited—summer after summer; each new little boy and girl that came into the world was told of the great promise, and among the very first things they did was to go about seeking the flower and asking questions about it.
But no one could tell them anything except to repeat the promise that a beautiful gift-plant would someday grow upon the earth, which only people with loving hearts could see, and they should be greatly blessed.
Everyone in the whole world went about looking for this flower; even though they did a great deal of work, and thought of other things, yet they never quite forgot the wonderful promise.
Many of them prepared the soil and made beautiful gardens to receive it. Some sought far and wide for rare seeds and bulbs which they planted and watered, but only such plants grew as every one had seen before, and so they still waited and searched.
Many others wished and wished, and some prayed and prayed, but the precious seed did not come.
The rich men of the land had great parks laid out; the ground was tilled and everything kept ready for the plant to find root. Many gardeners and watchers were hired to stay there and watch for this wondrous flower and guard it—but it did not come.
Yet no one ever doubted the promise, for everyone wished very much to have all the good things which were to come with this flower.
Among all these people there was one very kind woman, who did many good deeds. She loved and cared for little children who had no one to help them. One night when she came home from her work what did she see in a little broken flower-pot that stood in her window?
A tiny plant which she had never noticed before!
She watered it and it grew and grew, and she learned to love it.
One day while she was looking at the tiny plant she remembered the promise, and said quietly to herself: “Can it be that this is the beautiful flower the whole world is waiting for! I think it is, for it has made me so happy.” And it was the flower. She knew the promise had come because it had made her so happy.
Everyone, far and near, came to see it; and they begged pieces and seeds to plant. And though the good woman gave of her plant, it grew larger and larger, and she became happier and happier.
One day it blossomed wide and beautiful. The rich men who had made great parks and gardens for the flower would not believe the woman had received the real promised plant. They shook their heads and laughed at it all, and went on seeking after other seeds and plants.
But the people who believed because they saw how happy it made the woman to whom the flower came, brought rich gifts to her and begged for the seed, and they took it home and planted it everywhere, that the whole world might be filled with joy and peace.