The King and the Pauper
We are far from perfect. We sin, we fall, we fail.
And we come to HKBH with requests for life, health, zivugim, etc. and when we are ready to show what we are giving in exchange, we open our palm and discover - nothing!
What do we have to 'pay' for these gifts?
Our palm lies open, and empty.
We lower our eyes in embarrassment. We are asking for a free handout.
But we don't back down.
A poor man approached the king, asking for his daughter in marriage, open access to his treasure house, his palace etc. And in exchange for the kings most precious treasures he offers... nothing. What chutzpah!
The next man comes to the king. He also requests the princess, wealth, and access to all good the king can offer. In exchange, he brings a wagon loaded with gold; all ready to buy what he wants. Aha! Now here's a real mentch!
But wait! The King shocks the world by choosing... the pauper!
Turning to the rich man, he says: "I am the richest and most powerful in the world. I own everything. Nothing you give me comes close to what I have already. Do you really think that your paltry gold coins are enough to buy you anything I own?? What do I need your money for? You can not "buy" me."
To the pauper he explains: "You understood that nothing you have can ever compare with what I am, and what I have. You came empty handed and asked me to bestow good. And when I asked what you were offering in exchange for all these gifts, you answered honestly:"
So we say to Hashem:
"My king; I have nothing and I am nothing compared to you. But one thing I CAN do for the king. I can take these gifts, and I can show them to the world. And I will tell everyone I meet who gave them to me, and I will sing your praises and try make the world understand what a kind and caring king you are to your loyal followers. Not only do I not deserve the kings good, but quite the opposite; I deserve to be punished for all the times I accidentally failed you! Yet you treat me with kindness anyway. I have no way to ever repay you for all you give me, king. But I can promise to always try."
We can't ever deserve HKBH's chesed.
Hashem doesn't expect us too, as He knows it's impossible.
All He asks is that:
- We ask humbly,
- Appreciate it once He gives,
- And tell the world Who gave it.
Because He loves us. Unconditionally.