There was once an old stone monastery tucked away in the middle of a picturesque forest in Armenia. For many years people would make the significant detour required to seek out this monastery. The peaceful spirit of the place was healing for the soul.
In recent years, however, fewer and fewer people were making their way to the monastery. The monks had grown jealous and petty in their relationships with one another, and the animosity was felt by those who visited.
The Abbot of the monastery was distressed by what was happening and poured out his heart to his confessor Father Sarkis. Fr. Sarkis was a wise old hermit, who had been living in those isolated places almost 30 years. Having heard the Abbot’s tale of woe, he asked if he could offer a suggestion. “Please do” responded the Abbot. “Anything you can offer.”
Fr. Sarkis said that he had received a vision, an important vision, and the vision was this: the Lord was among the ranks of the monks. The Abbot was flabbergasted. One among his own was the Lord Himself! Who could it be? He knew it wasn’t himself, but who? He raced back to the monastery and shared his exciting news with his fellow monks.
The monks grew silent as they looked into each other’s faces. Was this one the Lord?
From that day on the mood in the monastery changed. Hovsep and Hagop started talking again, neither wanting to be guilty of slighting the Lord. Kevork and Armen left behind their frosty anger and sought out each other’s forgiveness. The monks began serving each other, looking out for opportunities to assist, seeking healing and forgiveness where the offense had been given.
As one traveler, then another, found their way to the monastery word soon spread about the remarkable spirit of the place. People once again took the journey to the monastery and found themselves renewed and transformed. All because those monks knew the Lord was among them.