A king wanted a new sword to take into battle. His sword was broken and he wanted one that could withstand any blow.
He announced to the people of his dominion that he would hold a contest and pay immensely anyone who could forge the best sword.
Many blacksmiths attempted to forge the sword of the king. They each worked alone in fear that the other blacksmiths might discover what they created.
There was, however, one blacksmith that did not work behind closed doors. Instead, he went out to the people and asked them questions about the king. He learned what he already knew–that the king was seen as a great man.
The people repeated three things again and again in these conversations:
- The king was brave.
- The king was kind.
- The king was wise.
The blacksmith went to work and people came to watch. He showed them his work all along the way, getting their feedback.
In time he finished the sword and with a crowd of people by his side, took it to the king.
The king welcomed the blacksmith, but was filled with doubt. He had turned down so many swords already. He was beginning to believe there was no sword suitable for him as a king.
The blacksmith presented the sword saying, “Good king, this sword was forged in iron with the love and admiration of your loyal subjects. There are three stones along the hilt of the sword to express what they people know about you.
- The ruby stands for your bravery.
- The emerald stands for your kindness.
- The amethyst stands for your wisdom.
Your people believe in you and all agree these three qualities show your greatness.”
The king was quite moved by his words.
He looked the blacksmith in the eye, then looked around to all the other people who had accompanied him here to the castle.
“Dear blacksmith,” said the king. “You have done well. You have sought the help of our people and for that you have created this masterpiece. I will proudly bear this sword on behalf of my people!”
With that the crowd erupted in cheers and the king lifted up the sword for all to see.
The blacksmith became the king’s personal iron man. He crafted all sorts of weaponry to protect the king who protected the kingdom.
Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens the wits of another. (Proverbs 27:17)
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