My Grandfather was a Baptist minister.
Now, in order to be a good minister you need to be able to tell a good story.
Even better if you can tell the same story in several different ways.
It recently occurred to me that one story he told me was a variation on a theme.
Perhaps you will recognize it:
When my Grandfather and his Sister, my Great Aunt Sophie were still quite young they went for a motorbike ride in the Yugoslavian mountains. When they reached the top, they stopped.
Getting off their bikes they paused for a few moments.
My grandfather told me it was a beautiful view.
The vista was intense with all the mountains that surrounded them.
Yet it was not the natural beauty that brought them to this place.
Over the edge and way down below from where they stood, a sea of monolithic boulders told another story.
Several years earlier this had been the sight of an earthquake
Grandfather then went on to explain that as lovely and as serene as this setting appeared, beneath the boulders below one thousand victims still lay buried.
“So it is with the people in our lives,” he said to me, sadly shaking his head as he finished his story:
“No matter how pristine, craggy or beautiful people may appear to be, we never know the tragedies buried below their surface.”