“What are you getting closer to?” the fairy couldn’t help but ask.
Judson glanced up in surprise, suddenly remembering his little guest. “Oh my dear, I hope I didn’t wake you! I’m just working on a little assignment the Great King gave me. He asked me to create a new color, one that he could use to express pure joy. I think blue is a good base, and I’m combining what I can to make it as beautiful and perfect as possible. What do you think should go into it next?”
The fairy walked around the items on the table, looking thoughtfully at each one. Then her eyes sparkled and she picked up a feather that was even taller than she. “Oh, use this, please! It is the most beautiful color I’ve ever seen!”
“A peacock plume, of course!” Judson agreed, and took the feather from the fairy, twirling it between his fingers. He placed the bottle over a flame and waited for it to boil, then gently stirred the mixture with the feather. Gold and green flecks danced through the liquid and the blue became more and more vibrant. “Good choice, little one,” he said and winked at her. The two of them studied the potion for a while.
“Something is still missing,” the fairy whispered.
“Just what I was thinking,” Judson whispered back. “I don’t know what exactly. I can’t think of anything that could make it more perfect, but this doesn’t inspire joy in me as I thought it would…” He sighed and shook his head. “Let’s set it aside for now and have some tea, shall we? I always find a good cup of tea helps to bring clarity.”
The rest of that day was spent sharing stories between the new friends, laughing and singing and eating toast with marmalade and lemon tarts. It wasn’t until the sun set and the room was lit with candles that the wizard dared to ask the question he’d been pondering since Lynn came to his door.
“Little one, I wonder why it is that the rabbit carried you, and you walked through the snow to my home. Last night you mentioned the Great King, but I don’t understand why a creature of your extraordinary abilities does not simply fly o’er the mountains to reach your destination?”
“Oh, so I am going the right direction! I had feared I would be lost forever. Tell me, is the King very near? How much farther do I have to go?”
“Why, not far at all if you simply spread your wings, but I warn you it is much slower if you mean to go on foot.”
“That is why I must see him,” she said in a sad, soft voice. “My wings do not work like other fairies’ wings... and I, I want so badly to, to-” her lip quivered, her pain and sadness welled up in her throat and two shining teardrops rolled down her cheeks and filled her empty thimble tea cup.
She waited for the wizard to ask more questions, but all he said was, “I see.” He was solemnly watching the teacup with the tears inside, praying to know some way to comfort the fairy. Then his eyes blinked and inspiration sparked. “Little one, may I borrow your tea cup? I’d like to try something.” She sniffled and handed him the tiny cup. Tenderly, he carried it to his work table and transferred the tears into the blue bottle, and instantly the mixture swirled into dark clouds like a storm.
“Oh, no! It’s ruined!” cried the fairy.
But Judson held up a finger, then reached for a crystal vial on a shelf and spilled it in as well. “Give it time,” he whispered. “Wait a little longer, and see what happens.” While they waited, Judson said gently, “Sometimes we think that things are ugly or broken or useless; but really they have been made the way they are for a very special purpose, to experience something much greater.”
Lynn saw that the potion was swirling again, and a bright blue sparkle was breaking through the darkness. “What was that last ingredient you put in?” she asked.
“The Great King gave it to me... it is one ounce of his love. He told me to add it to this recipe after I discovered the secret ingredient. And with your help, I found it. The secret ingredient to pure joy is suffering – we cannot truly experience joy to its fullest until we have faced suffering… and allowed His powerful love to overcome it.” The sparkle continued to grow and spread through. The clouds did not vanish all together, but they faded in the brilliance of the ounce of love, and the contrast and play of light and shadow formed the most enchanting, beautiful hue the fairy had ever seen. The wizard smiled and set the bottle down beside the fairy. “There now, see how well His love shows up in the midst of your tears? Truly amazing; He will be most pleased with the results.”
With the mixture complete, Judson relaxed and he and Lynn talked late into the night. He told her his story, and about his friend, the Great King, and some of the journeys and assignments He had given him over the years. He laughed as he recalled some of the curious instructions and ingredients he had been entrusted with, and how he had discovered the incredible purposes behind each one. “The Great King never makes a mistake,” he mused. “He always knows exactly what he is doing, and always carries it on to completion. And I get to see it happen over and over again.”