One young man had many words, but no place to live. So he decided to build himself a house out of words. He began to put word after word, word after word, and built a house for himself. He went into his house and looked around: there was a floor and the roof in place, and the walls with windows were good, but somehow it was empty inside. He filled the house with all the utensils from top to bottom, so he wouldn’t be able to turn around. It was empty anyway. Then the young man went to get advice from an old man.
“Why is my house so empty?” he asked.
And the old man said:
“You’re missing one word.”
“So tell me the word,” the young man said.
“You won’t be able to hear it now,” the old man said.
“Why not?” The young man was surprised.
“Because you have many words,” the old man said.
“So what am I supposed to do?” the young man asked.
“I don’t know,” the old man smiled and fell silent.
The young man returned to his house. He sat down and sat silently. But he could not take it any longer:
“The old man hid something from me!”
He went back to the old man again. He saw that the old man’s house had disappeared, and there was a new house, all white, and a cross on top of it.
The man came into this house, and saw nothing: only scaffolding on the walls and some people inside. Somehow it wasn’t empty. Meanwhile, there was a man talking about something in the middle of this house. The young man listened and heard: “And the Word was God”. The young man did not understand anything. He went back to his house, sat down and looked at his walls and windows. And then he remembered what he had heard in that strange house. And he wanted to repeat it: “And the Word was God.” As soon as he said these words, his whole house melted as if it were ice.
The young man glanced around and saw the vast open space, while in the distance he could see a white house with a cross at the top, and right in front of it the old man stood and smiled:
“Well, is it empty now?”
“No, it’s not,” the young man said. “So what do I do now?”
“Do what you want to do,” the old man said. “If you want to talk, talk, if you want to keep quiet, keep quiet, if you want to build something, do it.”
“Then what do I build out of?” the young man was surprised.
“Out of what’s on your hands. The interior work in that white house had just begun.”
The young man looks and again does not understand anything: the old man is quite young, and on his chest he has the same exact cross as on the white house. How could he not see it before!
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds