The Story of the Other Wise Man
Henry van Dyke
(Harper & Brothers 1899)
"And yet I have never felt as if it were my own. It was a gift. It was sent to me; and it seemed as if I knew the Giver, though His name was not spoken." (preface viii)
"An idea arrives without effort; a form can only be wrought out by patient labor. If your story is worth telling, you ought to love it enough to be willing to work over it until it is true..." (preface xii)
This story has more than one single meaning. It has more than three. Layers and layers of symbolism and of allegories really set this small book apart from any other. The foreshadowing shows how much we accomplish when we live for Jesus and how our lives really impact others.
As we read the story of Artaban and his search for the Messiah to present his gifts, we see that his life touches so many others and what he does for others is more worthy than the ruby, sapphire, and opal that he carries for his King.
"Verily I say unto thee, Inasmuch as thou hast done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, thou hast done it unto me." (p. 74)
And his gifts were accepted by his King.
Not many greats are left that compare to Henry van Dyke, and I can truly say this is a book that I will pass down to my children.